I once heard a speaker say that we’re either going through a
hard time, just coming out of a hard time, or about to go through a hard time.
Hard times and difficult situations are just a part of life.
I don’t know anyone who is a fan of hard times. I know I’m not. But I have to admit that when I’m done walking through a challenging situation, I’ve most always learned something that helps me in navigating this life. I find it’s good to remember that when I’m walking through the muck and the mire.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
More importantly, I find it wise to rehearse the goodness of God when I’m sitting in the pit. If you’ve ever been to see a play, especially one that’s done by the local high school, or maybe the community theater, you know that it’s easy to determine who has spent the time it takes to memorize their lines, and who is just hoping they’ll remember it as they come up. The one who has rehearsed his/her lines over and over is the one who gives the better performance.
So, what does this have to do with rehearsing the goodness of God? Right now, I’m struggling with sore eyes, which is ironic since I’m married to an optometrist. In fairness to my husband, I’m not a very good patient but that’s a story for another day. It would be very easy for me to sit around and wail about my eyes. “Why God? Why do I have to deal with this pain?” (Said in my best whiny voice.) “They hurt so bad that I just want to go to bed and sleep the day away!” That would be me NOT rehearsing the goodness of God. In that scenario, all of the focus is on me and my problem. I’d be lying if I told you I haven’t resorted to that at least a few times in the past few weeks.
However, I find my attitude improves drastically when I focus on God’s goodness. “Thank you, Lord, that I have two eyes that allow me to see the beauty of this world. Thank you that I live in a country where I have access to medical care (even though I’m too stubborn to take all the advice given me). Thank you for access to soothing eye drops that bring temporary relief. And, thank you for loving me even when my eyes make me crabby.”
While it can be challenging to rehearse God’s goodness in the midst of the trial, it’s easier when we practice it all the time, just like it’s easier for the performer to easily recite her lines if he/she has spent the time rehearsing.
What are the good things God has done for you in the past? What are the good things God is doing for you in the midst of your trial? Speak about those things! They bring life!
But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress. O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love. Psalm 59:16-17
Are you in the midst of a trial? Why not rehearse God’s goodness and see if it makes a difference in your day? He is always faithful!