Lately I have been reflecting on James 1:2: “Consider it pure joy…whenever you face trials of many kinds…” (NIV)
Today I have a guest blog from Elnora Hinson who calls her trial “The Gift.” I met Elnora, an RN, while working with the mentally ill. Even though she is not a professional writer, she has encouraged me and many others to embrace God’s truth by sending out devotions via email.
Here is Elnora’s encouragement for those of you who are struggling in your faith as you face various trials in your life. Thank you, Elnora.
I have encountered many trials in my recent past that if not for God’s grace and mercy, I would not have survived. Someone once said “Trials come to make us strong.” Well, I have to say I wanted the strength, but I did not want the trials.
In August 2011 at the age of 62, my life course began to change. I now know and believe that God had different plans for my life. You see, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and that changed the lives of my husband, me and my entire family. Life as we knew it would never be the same.
One of the hardest things I have ever had to do was tell my husband of my abnormal examination and possible cancer. On August 9,2011 the tissue sample was tested. Then the waiting began. My husband by my side trying to reassure me and love me through the hard times. Waiting for the dreaded call. Well, we didn’t have to wait long. The call came the following day. The doctor called and said the tests confirmed just as she had suspected…..Cancer.
I don’t remember much after that call. My husband heard me sobbing uncontrollably from the other room and was immediately at my side. He held me and cried as I cried, sharing my pain, as I told him the news.
Hearing those dreaded words began the change and transformations for many areas of my life. It changed how I look at life–every area of my life. I have now discovered a whole new level of relationship and communication with my husband and most especially with the Holy Spirit.
It has been nearly 3 years now, and I truly give God the glory and praise for my “Gift” wrapped in pain. For without the “Gift” of testing I would not be where I am today.
My husband and I endured the challenges together. I could not have made it without him–through the mastectomy, the late night tears and restless, sleepless nights. I know without a doubt that God gave us the strength to be there for each other.
I have to say that it was tough to realize that the pain of poor health came to make me strong. How? How could this make me strong when the pain was so intense? How, could I see these trials as “Gifts Wrapped in Pain”? How could cancer be a “Gift”? Surely God must have made a mistake!
If a gift is well-wrapped it may take a while to open it, but once inside we find the true, unanticipated gift of a lifetime. It is sometimes very difficult to anticipate something good inside when we are unable to see past the wrapping.
But God has a plan that we may be incapable of seeing. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11)
The greatest “Gift” is knowing that our struggles could be something that God could use for His glory. God turned the pain and struggle that my husband endured to define us and has brought our relationship to a whole new and deeper level. I now know that my true purpose is to tell all who will listen about “The Gift.”