Encouragement for Today
“Seeking God through Adversity, Part I”
Micca Campbell - Assistant Director of Certified Speakers, Certified Speaker, Writer
Dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. (1 Peter 4:13) (NKJ)
They called it toxic poison. I was swollen like a balloon, and my blood pressure was so high the nurse panicked. At thirty-seven weeks, the doctor decided to induce labor. The nurse administered a medicine that relaxed my body and lowered my blood pressure. My limbs became like Raggedy-Ann until a contraction hit. The pain straightened me like a board, and I commanded my husband to do something! He did. He left the room until it was over. Soon Parker was born! He was the most beautiful baby anyone had ever seen. I know because all the nurses agreed. There was only one problem. Being early, Parker’s lungs were not fully developed.
It was difficult going home from the hospital and leaving my newborn behind. The doctor put me on bed rest until all the swelling went down. That meant my visits with the baby were limited. The good news was that Parker was getting stronger by the day. Just when I thought he was well enough to come home, Parker developed Jaundice, and I developed the baby blues.
Eventually, we did celebrate Parker’s homecoming. It was during the celebration that our oldest son, Mitch, began to complain of a tummy ache. Now, once a woman becomes a mother she is automatically a certified nurse as well. I diagnosed Mitch with an upset stomach and sent him to bed. By morning, Mitch was doubled over with pain and could not stand up. Having recently given birth, I literally could not carry this child to the doctor. For that reason, I called in the reserves—his grandparents.
Soon, my dad called with bad news. Mitch’s appendix had ruptured and they were going to do emergency surgery. Back to the hospital we went. I got there in time to walk along side of the gurney and sing with my son a familiar bedtime song. “When I am afraid, I will trust in Him—I will trust in Him—I will trust in Him.” At the moment, I’m not sure which one of us needed it most.
After a long week of popsicles, orange gelatin, and movie mania, we were all back home again, but not for long. We returned to the doctor’s office when Mitch began to run a high fever. Testing reveled that there was still poison in Mitch’s body from the ruptured appendix. The doctor would have to operate again.
In case you were unaware, there is a certain spirit that comes over a mother when her child is in danger. I like to call it “the bear within”. Overtaken by this spirit, I asked the doctor to step into the hallway of the hospital. We had what we call in the south, a chat. Only I did most of the talking. I wanted to make sure that he was planning to do it right this time. He was. And he did. Matter of fact, he did a good job—the second time around!
Is it just me, or is your life filled with one trial after another, too? Peter tells us we should not be surprised at the hardships we face. Actually, adversity is one of God’s greatest tools for growing us spiritually.
Over the next two days, we are going to uncover just how God uses trials in our lives to shape our character and bring us to a higher level of faith in Him as He works in bad situations for our good.
My prayer for today:
Dear Lord, open my eyes over the next two days so that I might come to understand how you are using adversity for good in my life. Prepare me to trust you and not my circumstances. In Jesus name, Amen.
Take time to consider adversity and its source. Then ask yourself where you think your trouble comes from most often. 1) Adversity can come form the fallen world in which we live. 2) Adversity can come from attacks by the enemy. 3) Adversity can be caused by our own sin. Now pray, trust and confess.
When trouble comes to whom do you turn for strength and guidance?
Do you ever look inward to see if your hardship is caused by sin—then confess that sin?
How do you endure hard times?
Do you trust God or rely on your own resources when you are burdened?
How can you bring glory to God in the midst of a trial?
John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in me. (NKJ)
Psalm 138:7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you will revive me; you shall stretch forth you hand against the wrath of my enemies and your right hand shall save me. (NKJ)
1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your cares upon him; for he cares for you. (NKJ)
Palms 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, our very present help in times of trouble. (NKJ)
Hebrews 4:15,16 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (NKJ)
P31 Woman Magazine
Coming Out of the Dark, by Mary Southerland
Where is God When Bad Things Happen, by Mary Southerland
The Art of Helping, by Lauren Littauer Briggs
Originally published Wednesday, 10 March 2004.