When we grasp the spiritual reality that while we are adults called to care for our children, we are still children with access to heavenly help; we are empowered to be better people.
Before she followed in the footsteps of John the Baptist by living in the desert, Mary of Egypt (c.
The disciple Peter denied Jesus three times. Only hours before the denials, Peter had declared his willingness to die for Jesus (Luke 22:33), so the realization of his failure was a crushing blow (Luke 22:61–62). In his despair, Peter went out fishing (John 21:1–3). But Jesus came to Peter in that place, and for each denial gave him a chance to declare his love. Then, with each declaration, Jesus charged Peter to care for His people (John 21:15–17). The result of this stunning display of grace was Peter playing a key role in building the church and ultimately giving his life for Christ.
A biography of any one of us could begin with a litany of our failures and defeats. But God’s grace always allows for a different ending. By His grace, we can all make the transition from sinner to saint.
My friend’s father received the dreaded diagnosis: cancer. Yet, during the chemo treatment process, he became a follower of Jesus and eventually went into remission. He was cancer free for a wonderful eighteen months, but it returned—worse than before. He and his wife faced the reality of the returned cancer with concern and questions but also with a faithful trust in God because of how He saw them through the first time.
We won’t always understand why we’re going through trials. This was certainly the case for Job, who faced horrendous and unexplainable suffering and loss. Yet despite his many questions, in Job 12 he declares that God is mighty: “What he tears down cannot be rebuilt” (v. 14) and “to him belong strength and victory” (v. 16). “He makes nations great, and destroys them” (v. 23). Throughout this extensive list, Job doesn’t mention God’s motives or why He allows pain and suffering. Job doesn’t have the answers. But still despite everything, he confidently says, “to God belong wisdom and power, counsel and understanding” (v. 13).
We may not understand why God allows certain struggles in our lives, but like my friend’s parents, we can put our trust in Him. The Lord loves us and has us in His hands (v. 10; 1 Peter 5:7). Wisdom, power, and understanding are His!