“Life’s greatest trials often come without a moment’s notice. There is no prep time or convenient moment to book them on our daily calendars,” says Sheila Walsh in her Bible study, The Shelter of God’s Promises.
“They brutishly make their way into our lives and threaten to undo us.”
You know what she means. So do I.
“But,” she continues, “suffering is often the very thing that allows our lives to be resurrected. When we look back, those moments can become milestones and strong pillars … because we survived by [God’s] strength alone.”
Romans 8:28 tells us “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” (NIRV)
Sheila calls that verse “God’s promise to work out all the twists and turns of our lives.”
She writes, “It’s almost impossible to believe that God can use all things, even the terrible and shameful moments from our past (or present!) to work for good for His glory.”
Yes, for humans that can seem impossible, but somehow He does it! “With God, all things are possible” (Mark 10:27).
In order to see how God has done that in our lives, Sheila suggests we make a two-column chart, and “write down hardships you’ve faced on the left side, and across from those write the blessings that came from those experiences.”
This is a perfect exercise for those writing memoirs. Like Sheila pointed out, looking back can yield rich treasures.
Filling out your chart might take a few days or weeks but, as you work on it, look for ways God turned your hardships into milestones.
How did He turn your suffering into strong pillars for your faith?
How God turn your greatest trials into your greatest blessings?
Did God use those hardships and blessings to bring you new opportunities that you wouldn’t have otherwise received?
What did God teach you about Himself in the midst of your hardships and blessings? What did you learn about yourself?
The next time a trauma or heartache entered your life, how did God’s help in the past give you hope for the future?
Write your stories—because you survived by God’s strength alone.
Write your stories—
Write your stories—not because of who you are, but because of who God is.