By Shirley Brosius
“Show me Your ways, Lord, teach me Your paths.” Psalm 25:4
Why does God allow suffering or disappointment? Why does He answer some prayers and not others? There’s always more for us to learn about God. During a serious illness of their beloved dog, a Newfoundland, my friend and her husband cried out to God, asking what they might learn about Him during the situation.
They knew the loss of a pet wasn’t as great as that of a person, yet their hearts were greatly troubled. They didn’t want their experience to be wasted, so they asked God to share His wisdom with them.
When they posted their dog’s symptoms on a prayer site for Newfoundlands, someone suggested a cause, which a veterinarian later confirmed. By God’s grace, their pet recovered. But as an unexpected blessing, my friends drew closer to each other as they prayed about their situation.
We are never too old to learn. We discover God’s ways, of course, from Scripture. Books, teachers, friends, and studies may also offer insight. But the greatest life lessons sometimes come from our experiences. During difficulties, God may whisper comfort and peace to our hearts and open our eyes to His faithfulness. When we find ourselves in trouble or simply puzzled by life’s twists and turns, we fare better if we take our eyes off the situation and look for God’s hand behind the circumstances. He may simply want to teach us that He is for us—no matter what.
My friend and her husband applied today’s verse as they put their hope in God rather than simply praying for their dog’s recovery. “Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long” (Psalm 25:6). They thanked God that they had enjoyed their pet for seven years, and they knew that if he lived or died, God would see them through. More than that, they would learn more about Him in the process.
What circumstances have drawn you closer to God? How do you see Him at work in your current situation? There is much to learn if we simply open our eyes to God’s work all around us.
Shirley Brosius, a contributor to Wholly Loved Ministries devotional project, is the author of Sisterhood of Faith: 365 Life-Changing Stories about Women Who Made a Difference and coauthor of Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides, which she wrote with two speaking partners, Kim and Janine. They call themselves Friends of the Heart (www.friendsoftheheart.us) to speak at women’s retreats and events throughout the East. Shirley has written hundreds of articles for newspapers, magazines, and devotional publications. She’s married with two married sons and a daughter waiting in heaven. She loves to read, write and keep up with five grandchildren.
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Originally published Thursday, 20 December 2018.