I thought it interesting reading the daily readings today. The first reading was from 1Samuel 1:9-20 and the Gospel reading was from Mark 1:14-20. On some days, it is hard to find a correlation between the readings, but that isn’t the case with today’s! In both of these readings, there is someone who is having a bad day. In Samuel, it is Hannah who is bitterly crying out to her Lord. In Mark, it was a man with an unclean spirit in the temple. Both of these believers cried out to the Lord, but neither were cured immediately. Hannah was accused of being a drunkard by Eli and the man with the unclean spirit was convulsed by the spirit after Jesus rebuked it. After things got worse though, they did get better.
Now, this I can truly identify with! In my role as wife, mother, homeschool teacher, community organizer and in so many other roles I have played already in my lifetime, this truth has been played out over and over again. One example that comes readily to mind would be when hubby and I bought our first home. We were expecting our first child and made the decision to settle down into our own home versus continuing to rent from others. So, we searched diligently to find the right house and property. We finally found what we thought was the perfect property. When we put a bid in on the property, we found out that there was another “couple” also bidding on it, but that our bid was higher. We were then notified that the homeowners had accepted our bid and not the other one. So, we celebrated and prepared to move.
At the closing, several problems came up preventing us from buying the house that day. We prayed and wailed as Hannah did about the delay and felt our prayers were answered when all went through a few weeks later. But, once we got into the house, things seemed fine for a bit but then we found out that the other “couple” bidding on the house wasn’t another couple like ourselves, but the City. To make a long story short, we ended up losing that house through Eminent Domain to the City and were homeless for a period of time. That homelessness moved us to make the decision to move back to our home state and look to settling there. While we were in the process of making this transition, we lived with my in-laws for a 9 month period.
Again, it seemed at the time to be just one more road block being placed in front of us. But, with time and perspective, we can now look back and recognize this time as the wonderful gift it was. Time with my father-in-law prior to his development of cancer and then subsequently his death. If it wasn’t for this string of events, we wouldn’t have been close enough to see him regularly during his illness. So, now with time adding on a different view, we can be thankful for these trials in our life.
So, when trials come our way and things seem awful, will things get better? Probably not right away, they will probably actually get worse. So, then what should we do? Cry and wail at the injustice of it all? Or have faith and trust in God that He loves us and has a better plan. Life and learning isn’t easy, period. But, if we look to Him and trust, hopefully, He’ll bring us out stronger at the end.