This morning we got up and went to church. Our minister preached on how we are to carry our crosses as Jesus carried His, and how we are to both give and accept help in carrying our crosses. It's funny that he preached on that, because I just spent some time yesterday doing a Bible study on why God allows difficulties in our lives. Here is my narration on that study:
Through trials we learn to have faith in God. We learn to wait on Him, we experience His provision in our lives, and our hope for His deliverance in the future gains strength, increasing our faith in Him. Our attitude as we go through difficulties ought to be patience, diligence, faith-- we are set apart for a particular purpose, and are being refined as gold in a fire. We have a high calling to praise the Lord with our lives. He allows us to go through trials in order to teach us obedience as well as increase our faith. Eventually we will reap the rewards of our struggles, if we are faithful. We will have a closer walk with God and more inward peace as we learn to obey Him.
You'd think I would already know that, but I keep forgetting. I really like being comfortable. It's good to be reminded that "there's a cross for everyone, and there's a cross for me", and that God uses the struggles we have to remind us to seek Him.
As my girls get older, I often think about the story of the butterfly emerging from a chrysalis, and how it *has* to struggle in order to build up its little butterfly strength-- if the burden of struggling is removed, the butterfly will be malformed, unable to fly, and may even die, not having exercised its body in the proper way. Children are like that, too, as they grow and emerge into the next stage, and the next. We are God's children.
Brother Mark talked about that at church today, how Jesus owned His cross-- it had His name on it (Jesus Christ, King of the Jews). Each of us also owns our crosses, our own struggles. Even if someone helps me carry my cross, the struggle is still my own. I am still that butterfly pushing and struggling to emerge from the chrysalis.
This is kind of jumbled, but I guess I am saying that the Lord knows what He is doing, and He loves us so much.