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Making Sense of Trials

Photo by julian mora on Unsplash

What are you doing to keep busy while you are locked down? My wife is working on a Christmas quilt. I have also enjoyed homemade bread more than one time. Me? I am calling folks and praying for lots of people. I was privileged to be a part of a group of military chaplains from around the world who gathered to pray online this week. I’ve probably prayed for you too.

I’ve written letters to those in the service and those in difficult circumstances. Before I make myself sound like super Christian, I’ve watched my share of programs on TV and read the newspaper. I read my books every night in bed. Like you, I am trying to find a balance to this new life.

Let’s be honest with each other, this is an unnatural lifestyle in a difficult situation, one that we would never choose for ourselves or our friends. A lot of people not working. And when I was a kid, wearing a mask meant that it was either Halloween or you were the Lone Ranger! Now it means that you are trying to do what’s right and you taking care of yourself and others.

Where is God in the middle of all this? We know that He either causes or allows everything to happen. We know that things happen for His purposes and we can’t always understand everything that He does or allows.

Many years ago, in Wales, there was a coal mining accident that killed many children. A minister stood in front of the mine and tried to answer the question of, “Why?” He held up a bookmark that was made by his mother. On one side all the threads, while beautiful, we’re just a random collection of colors and patterns. Yet when he turned it to the other side, it read, “God Loves You!”

Life is just like that. We live on one side and looking at things we can’t see anything but random patterns. Of course, we try to make sense out of them, but with no luck. It isn’t until God turns the mark and we can see what He has written on the other side that things can begin to have meaning. Sometime in the future, God will turn the bookmark for us. We will see clearly what He has written and understand completely what He was doing. But until then we can only trust that He is writing. Until then, may God bless you and keep you and even if you can’t understand the bookmark, keep looking!

Bill Swartz

Bill has over 30 years of ministry experience. Notably, he was the founding lead pastor of Baptist Church on Homedale when he helped merge Suburban Heights Baptist Church with First...

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