But how will you know?

“Trials are medicines which our gracious and wise Physician prescribes because we need them; and He proportions the frequency and weight of them to what the case requires.  Let us trust in His skill and thank Him for the prescription.”  _John Newton


There have been seasons in my life that I felt like I was going through a 24/7-days-on-end root canal…without anesthesia.

Ever been there?

There have even been a few times in my life that I was going through things so painfully difficult that I’d lay my head on my pillar at night and pray a silent prayer to God just letting Him know that nothing would make me happier than to wake up in Heaven.

Ever been there?

One thing I know, if you’ve lived any amount of time on this planet you’ve gone through some tough situations that taxed you, alarmed you, and even hurt you.

If you’re like me, some of them were due to our own stupidity and unsound judgments. But many were not. We were in there doing the best we knew to do but no matter…things kept getting worse.

We received abuse we didn’t deserve.

We were criticized by people who didn’t know the full story.

We were second-guessed, questioned, and doubted…even by friends and family.

And, if you’re like me, when the “root canal” was over, few ever came back to say, “I was wrong, sorry about that.”

Why do bad things happen to decent people?

Why do seemingly undeserved tests and trials come our way?

John Newton, writer of Amazing Grace, gives a pretty good answer (see opening quote). His answer is that God is giving us needed medicine.

He’s probably right…at least mostly. But having God pinch our nose and give us a whopping spoonful of castor oil is small consolation!

But then…

If we never had any tough times how would we know what we’re made of? How would we ever gain knowledge, strength, humility, and patience?

How would we ever know our mettle?

The ONE THING for today: While never fun and seldom celebrated, the test and trials of life do teach us something about ourselves that we’d never know otherwise…and that’s worth something.

Today that may be all the encouragement you’ve got. But if my root canal experiences have taught me anything…sometimes that’s enough.

Photo by Sean Benesh on Unsplash

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