Saturday, January 17, 2015

How do Trials Make us Better?

How do trials make us better?

We read in God's Word that trials make us better and that all things work for our good. Sometimes it is hard to see this.

This Christmas was one of those times. 

The Thursday before Christmas we picked up our SUV and put around 2200 on our credit card to pay for repairs. Thankfully, someone picked up 2000 of that, so this was not too painful at the time. 

Friday, I was called to my son's classroom because he was crying. The Wednesday before he had run his head into a post in the gym, and in the back of my mind I was still concerned that it was more serious than it looked. He was in the bathroom crying because of a belly ache. He rarely gets stomach aches, and when he does, he doesn't cry. We thought maybe it was nerves for the upcoming program because he seemed to calm down and enjoy the rest of the day. He mentioned his belly again after school, and checking his temp, I found it was high for him. The doctor's office had us have him jump to see if his stomach hurt worse, but the the fever was making him wacky, so we couldn't tell. They told us to go to the ER. We took our first trip in Buffalo to the ER for women and children. We had to bring our youngest who has special needs. We spent several hours there, and they finally just said it was a virus. We had assumed this by that point, but it's better to be safe I suppose. I wondered why? Why the extra stress? Why the extra exposure to germs?

Saturday, our son seemed pretty good. He didn't really have a fever, but in the night once again it spiked and his belly hurt. We figured out that is just what happens when he gets fever. Sunday morning, we were leaving for Michigan. His fever was mostly down, so we decided to go. The trip went wonderfully. The boys were great. The ride flew by. 

We got there, and unfortunately, Braydon's germs quickly passed to his daddy, grandma, and grandpa. His brother spiked a fever, but that is all that happened. This is a miracle as he is the one who usually gets things the worst. I prayed that it was nothing, and in the morning it almost nothing. 

We made it through Christmas even though many were under the weather. The Friday after Christmas we headed out on an almost 10 hour drive to Ryan's family. First, our youngest was struggling. He was uncomfortable and inconsolable. We stopped and helped him to get comfortable adjusting his seat etc. He seemed good. Five minutes later on the road, our oldest had to go to the bathroom. We were around the Mentor, OH area at this point. We stopped and took him, and at that point the newly repaired SUV started making a terrible sound. (heart sinks, worry, panic, etc) The sound gets better, so we headed out again. We then decided to stop for dinner in Cuba, NY. Why Cuba? I'm not really sure. I think we had stopped there once, but it's a pretty small town. The car once again starts to make an awful sound, and this time, we know we have to stop for the night. The only hotel is an Econolodge. These are not known for being great, but this one was newly remodeled. Our oldest just wanted to get to his grandparent's house as did we. I told him this was an adventure, and once we brought in an couple of toys, he seemed to agree. I told the hostess about our car and asked about area mechanics. She was going to give me the number of the one down the road when she remembered that her future son in law was a car mechanic. She called him, he came right out, and he diagnosed the car to have an alternator problem. The alternator was one thing we just replaced! We felt this was probably a good thing, as it should be under warranty. What are the odds that we would run into a mechanic!  We were within the AAA mile limit for towing, so our car got towed back to Buffalo the next morning. My father in law drove the 2 1/2 hours to come and get us, and we arrived a day later than planned.

By the time we arrived and got settled, I now had the flu pretty bad, so I spent the next 2 days in bed. It was the worst flu I have ever had.

Why did all this happen on our Christmas break? Why did we have to be inconvenienced and sick? How do trials make us better? Well, thankfully these trials were insignificant compared to some others experience every day.

What can trials teach us about God? They teach us about His grace. In trials we see His grace at its height. When we experience His mercy as we did when Trenton only spiked a fever and did not get the flu - we glorify God. It was a direct answer to prayer. I prayed that night for God to help my unbelief because I was that sure he had the flu, and yet - He showed mercy. I told Him I would give Him glory, and I do that now. It was God's doing.

His mercy could be seen throughout our trip when we the part we needed happened to be the one just replaced. The hostess happened to know a mechanic. We happened to be in the 100 mile range for AAA. These were not coincidences. They were God's mercy in action.

His grace was what brought us through the inconvenience of the car issues and the pain of the flu.

Once again, my blog brings me to these two traits of God that are so often interchanged, but in reality are so different. May we be better in our trials learning more about God and His Grace and Mercy.




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