My ex-husband, Ron Scarlata passed away Sunday. My children are in deep grief.
In times of great stress like death of a family member we have to rely on God’s strength, not our own.
Oswald Chambers said, “We are not built for the mountains and the dawns and aesthetic affinities, those are for moments of inspiration, that is all. We are built for the valley, for the ordinary stuff we are in, and that is where we have to prove our mettle.” ~
Oswald is right, we are built for the valley. The time in the valley is a time to grow spiritually. We choose to walk in the Spirit or in the flesh. This valley time for me has been a constant challenge to stay ahead of anger and bitterness. Anger blocks the Spirit of God from working through us.
There are times in the valley when I lean on God and get victory and times when I give in to flesh and struggle to let go and let God.
I learn about humility and learning more about waiting on Him in the valley. Praise God; in my weakness He is strong.
“Are you going to believe what the Lord says, no matter what He allows into your life?” Yes! I’ve flunked the test of faith but God gives make-up tests. In faith I believe God will stretch and develop me until I am the woman He desires me to be. My job is to trust, pray, forgive and love. The valley is a chance to to prove our mettle (vigor and strength of spirit or temperament.)
Jesus said, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other.” (John 15:16-17)
God Can Use Our Suffering
God, our loving Heavenly Father, uses suffering or misfortune in our lives to prove our faith or to test our character.
As a parent I would never push my son into the road in front of traffic, but if my son ran out into the road I would discipline him to teach him of the possible danger. I have purposely inflicted temporary pain on my son’s backside in order to teach him to avoid much greater pain in the future. I am much wiser than he is. I can see a bigger picture.
Sin and disobedience usually cause our suffering, but God can use it to make us stronger if we let Him. Character built by the Holy Spirit is different compared to our born again experience. Salvation is a gift. Character growth is built through proving: tribulation, hardships, sorrow, and trials.
“Count it all a joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” James 1:2-3
We are human. We spend a great deal of our lives seeking comforts and avoiding pain because it is natural to relate negatively to suffering.
Romans 8:28 says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
When we ask God to make us Christ-like we need to expect difficulties which allow Him to break our pride, rebellion, selfishness and independence so we can learn to be totally dependent on Him.
If we believe God’s Word we can embrace obstacles and difficulties. We can look at the bigger picture and see God has a greater plan. Please pray for my children to feel God’s love during their pain.