This morning on my beach walk, a song came on my iPod that always causes me to pause and reflect when I hear it. The first time I heard it was nearly five years ago, while in the periodontist’s chair having my first round of surgical root & bone scraping done (yuck!). I had forgotten my iPod, and the assistant graciously loaned me hers, to listen to music as a distraction during the procedure. I was pleasantly surprised to find her playlist was one of Christian music, and while I was doing my best to zone out, a song came on that spoke perfectly into my life at that moment.
It was just a few weeks after my husband had left, and I was in the throws of my mom’s spiraling health issues and ongoing hospital/rehab stays. It was easily one of the most “crucible” times I had walked through in my life. However, it wasn’t my only difficult season – there have been many other great and small ones. And even as I was enduring that one, I knew the principles recited in the lyrics of this song to be tested and true in my life. I had found that it was not in spite of, but because of the hardest times in my life, that I had come to know God in a deep and intimate way. The moments when I was at my wit’s end, had nowhere else to turn, felt totally alone and was in the deepest emotional pain, were the times when God showed up in unimaginable ways. With each “trial,” I grew to know God more and more, and I came out of it with new lessons and stronger faith to help see me through other hardships. I can remember numerous occasions curled up in a ball, with my eyes gushing tears, when God met me in those places in such real and personal ways. And even as I walked through that current time of daily difficulties piled one on top of the other, I knew that God would “never leave me or forsake me,” and that on the other side, there would be profound “fruit” in my life (as was later confirmed in a powerful prophecy). So as I listened again this morning to Laura Story’s song “Blessings,” I could almost see a movie of memories flood my mind. The song asks many questions, but most importantly, “What if trials of this life, are Your mercies in disguise?” I can certainly look back over many places of hardship and loss (from my early 20’s on) and see the cumulative truth of this, evidenced in my life.
Below is a YouTube rendition of the song with lyrics. I hope it blesses you and that you too can come through your trials knowing that God can “work all things for the good of those that love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment.” ~Romans 5:3-5a
“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
“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as His children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?…No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” ~Hebrews 12:7 & 11