June 22, 2017
Help! I’m Stuck
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1, NIV).
Friend to Friend
I was enjoying a few moments of silence when I heard our two-year-old granddaughter bouncing down the hallway. Nori is a beautiful little girl with bright blue eyes and dimples that could charm the warts right off a frog. She jabbers constantly in a language that seems to be easily understood by other two-year-olds. Adults? Not so much. But I am learning.
I could tell by the tone of her voice that whatever Nori was talking about was a problem, and she did not like it one bit! She rounded the corner pushing her baby doll stroller and intensely fussing, “Tuck! Beebee tuck!” It took me a minute to assess the crisis. “Mimi! Beebee tuck!” she kept insisting. And then I saw the problem.
Nori had jammed one of her large baby dolls into a small stroller and the doll was indeed “tuck.” To prove her point, Nori vigorously yanked on the doll’s head and arms in an effort to free her precious baby. The doll was still stuck. “Mimi, hep!” I knew exactly what that meant. I was being drafted into action.
Nori had done an excellent job of getting her baby doll stuck in that stroller. Arms and legs were threaded through the plastic bars on each side of the stroller while the doll’s head was jammed between the handle and the basket. Nori eyed me suspiciously, obviously doubtful that I had what it took to get the job done. But after several minutes of pushing, pulling, shoving and wiggling, Nori’s doll was finally set free.
When I handed the baby doll to Nori, she jumped up and down, clapping her hands in delight. “Beebee not tuck, Mimi!” she exclaimed.
My mind immediately went to a deeper truth about trials, hard times, and pain. I know what it is like to be stuck in my pain, to stare at life through the rough knothole of agony. I have cried out to God, pleading with Him to set me free. Sometimes He takes away the pain. Sometimes He strengthens me to endure the pain, but either way, He sets me free to become more like Jesus and to know Him more.
God covers each pain with His infinite love and mercy, bringing hope and encouragement where there was once only despair.
Pain strengthens our faith and builds endurance, the ability to stay under the load. We have a loving Father who is committed to building the character of His Son in us. His love wants what is best for us, not what is easiest.
Shallow love rescues easily and quickly.
Real love walks with us through each trial. God wants us to trust Him, even when life makes no sense, and even when there seems to be no explanation.
Isaiah 55:8-9 The Lord says, ‘My thoughts are not like your thoughts. Your ways are not like My ways. Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.’
God’s comfort is most cherished when pain is the strongest. The darker it gets, the brighter His light shines. We may be down, girlfriend, but we are never out, because God is the Shepherd of every valley, Lord of every storm, and Friend of the wounded heart.
When God pushes you to the edge, trust Him fully … because only two things can happen. Either He will catch you when you fall, or He will teach you how to fly. Either way, God’s got you – and you are truly free.
Father, I celebrate the freedom I have in You. No matter how deep the pain may be, You surround me with Your love and strengthen me for every trial. Teach me how to embrace my pain and allow You to use it for my good and Your glory. Oh Father, there is such freedom in knowing You! Thank You!
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Read James 1:2-3 My brothers and sisters, when you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy, because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give you patience.
Think back over the past month. What trials have you faced? What was your response to those trials? Has God strengthened you or taught you a lesson through your trials? In your journal, record what God has accomplished in your life and how He has strengthened your faith through the tough times you have experienced.
More from the Girlfriends
Pain is a reality of life. How can we face and deal with pain in a way that pleases God? In her MP3 download, Strength for the Storm, Mary shares fresh strategies that will help you learn how to handle difficult times.
Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area or having one of the GiGs speak at your next women's event.
Originally published Thursday, 22 June 2017.