I’m working on absorbing a powerful testimony I heard given by a friend of mine with whom I’ve traveled through life for the past twenty years. As we sat in our pews listening, she volleyed one family trial after another onto our side of the congregational court. I felt like I had to put my arms up in defense from the barrage of pummeled attacks: BOOM…. daughter’s teenage pregnancy, BAM…. both parents passing away within six months of each other, SMASH…. husband’s cancer, POW…. her own cancer, and on it went!
Her point in sharing was to emphasize the fact that endurance continues because of her personal faith and the showing up of her community to walk alongside.
The exhausting litany of life’s trials are not to be confused with trials of faith. Life’s trials are exactly that; they are the natural, inevitable, consequential products of living. Trials of faith, on the other hand, are when we come up against anything that contradicts, opposes, or refutes God’s character within us. It’s at these times that we find out with what we have chosen through the years to stuff our soul capacity.
This epiphany through another’s story helps me to focus on the glimpses of understanding I might have when delineating between trials of life and trials of faith. Brutal, hard, and debilitating things will happen to all of us, but we do have our family of faith walking alongside. Trials of faith are our internal struggles when confronted with that which contradicts His character within us.
How’s it working for you?
But we are not among those who shrink back and are lost; we have the faith to make life our own.