God Allows Us To Experience Difficulty...
"God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us lessons that we could learn in no other way." (Frequently credited to C. S. Lewis but actually not his. Though it does sort of sum up his points in his book, ”The Problem With Pain”)
This is an unfortunate truth. The human heart is full of rebellion and amnesia. As a result, the only way we can learn certain things is to experience low points in life. I know that has been true in my life.
When we are experiencing low points in life, we are tempted, whether consciously or not, to begin to doubt the goodness of God. God does not protect us from hard times. In fact, sometimes I think God might do even more than allow hard times in our lives. Is it heresy to say that God actually causes hard times in our lives? I don’t think so…because we need them. No, God does not protect us from hard times. Rather, He protects us during hard times.
I once had a basketball coach who was much harder on me than anyone else. He would constantly ride me, tell me what I was doing wrong, even if it was just a small thing. It felt so unfair because he chastised me so much more than anyone else. I finally could not take it anymore and let him know in no uncertain terms that I did not appreciate this special attention. After practice, he pulled me aside and asked me, “Do you know why I am constantly on you?” Before I could respond, he said, “It is because I know how good you can be.”
God wants the best for us. God knows "how good we can be." As a result, He pays us special attention. Unfortunately, because of the condition of our hearts, the only way we will learn certain important lessons is to go through difficult things. Rather than viewing it as God’s chastisement or feeling like God has forgotten us, let’s acknowledge that the difficult times actually show us how much He loves us.
He has not forgotten us. He is molding us and preparing us. As difficult as it is, we must always keep in mind that He allows things in our lives to better us, not to harm us.
"Whether we like it or not, God intends to give us what we need, not what we now think we want." - C.S. Lewis (for real)
Lifting our elections up to the Lord helps all of us keep the focus on the most important topics as well as softens our hearts to love everyone, even those with whom we may disagree. Believing differently shouldn't stop us from sharing God's love and His Word with others.