Our world has gone through quite a trial in the last year. It has been said that trials are proofs of God’s care. You might ask, how can that be?
First, let me say that God does not send the trials, but he is here to help us. We need to learn to let God shine through them. To do that, we need to understand who and what God is.
I have been asked how God can hear everyone’s prayers? That very question gives God ears, which dispossess him of His power to help, which is impossible if he is Spirit as Spirit has no form. He is not our image; we are His image. We are spiritual, like Him. “For I know what I have planned for you,’ says the Lord. ‘I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope.” (Jer. 29:11 New English Bible)
Okay, what is Spirit, God? God just IS. He does not take up space; He is all space, like the air we breathe. The book of John states that we live and move and have our being in God; it makes perfect sense. If He takes up all space, then we exist IN that space as a spiritual idea. We see ourselves as mortal beings, but that does not define who we are as a spiritual idea. Read my blog, “God and His Child.” The Prince and the Gypsy story is the best description I have ever seen that clearly tells who we are.
Here are some other words that define God. Love, Mind, Principle. These are not things, we cannot see them, but when we express these qualities in our lives, we are expressing God, divine Mind, the source of all intelligence and love. These are the evidence of things unseen and bring His image out for all to see. The evidence of Love is caring, compassion, support, etc. Those are the qualities we share with others during times of trial. The evidence of Mind is our ability to use our God-given intelligence to reason through situations and make ethical choices based on God as Principle.
Here are some ways I use to let God shine through my trials. Let us first define trials: a person, thing, or situation that tests a person’s endurance or forbearance. It is only a test, so that gives us a choice. We can choose to be a victim of circumstances or rise above them and become a victor.
In Matthew 4, Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. It was a test, His first of many trials. He was asked to make bread of stones and replied, man does not live by bread alone. Then was asked to throw himself off the temple, as indeed the son of God will be saved. His reply, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Then the devil told him if he would worship him, he would give him all the kingdoms of the world. Jesus replied, “Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and him only shalt thou serve.”
What comes from the devil or Satan is nothing more than aggressive mental suggestions. They are not beings; they have nobody; they are suggestive thoughts that come from world consciousness. We have the power to accept or reject them. Jesus passed that test when he said, “Get then hence, Satan:” 😊 He put those suggestions out of his thought and robbed them of any power to control him. We can do that too.
When we constantly think about and mull over our trials, we give them power over us. By keeping our thought on God’s creation, we dispossess them of the power to hurt us. “Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord:” (Jeremiah 29:13-14 King James Version)
In every trial, there are blessings. Focus on them, and they will bring you through whatever you are facing intact. The first half of my life was one extensive trial, and I thought about it and mulled it over for years, and nothing changed. It was not until I started learning about God and kept him in my thought that things changed. That is my proof that this process worked forty years ago and still works today.
Our world has learned a lot of good things from the COVID19 Pandemic. Yes, there have been many losses, both in human life, lost jobs, and business closures. Still better to focus on the gains, and there have been many.
Our church has learned one good thing; we will never need to cancel services again due to bad weather. We can shift to Zoom, as we have done this last year, and it has worked out fine. Some of us even stay in Zoom after the service to chat. Now, this cannot replace the benefits of the in-person service, but it works when needed.
Many businesses have learned they can continue business with employees working from home, and I hear that some may continue this practice.
It seems that we are reaching a turning point now, and we need to demonstrate the grace to go forward. I learned a long time ago about the benefits of letting go of the past, and it is time to do that now.
It is not for me to know where I am going from here but to put God in charge of my destiny. To listen for His guidance, direction and follow His leading. Then I know I will be in the right place at the right time. Every time I have tried to control my life, I have been disappointed. I have run into obstacles and delays and have not ended up where I wanted to be, and I am not just speaking of a place in space but my mental growth as well. Every time I think, I know, I need to restate that with, God knows, and with certainty.
God directs me to the right human footsteps to take with the still small voice. I just need to stop my inner chatter and listen for His voice. There are times when it appears there are no human footsteps to take, but I learned to hold fast to God, and when I did, the circumstances changed, and I was safe. Here is an example.
One winter day, when I was out to lunch with my boss, we drove down a snow-covered road and faced a situation where there was no place to avoid an accident. Two cars almost stopped in front of me, one facing away from me and one facing me, and there was not enough space between them for another car. I tried applying my breaks, but with the snow, my car started to do things I did not want it to do. I eased up on the breaks and was headed straight at the little space between the two cars. I get tears in my eyes just thinking about this, and it happened 30 some years ago. I said right out loud, “God there is nothing I can do, this is in your hands now.” To my surprise and awe, when my car reached that little space, it wobbled and went right through. I stopped on the other side so we could catch our breath. My boss said, “how did you do that, there wasn’t enough room.” I replied, “I didn’t do it, you must have heard me, I turned it over to God.”
We went back to work, and she was telling everyone what I did. She was not ready to give God credit, but I knew it was God as I did not hold the steering wheel, just let it slide through my fingers. In God’s creation, there are no accidents. He does not make a mistake and then correct it. All I needed to do was let go of my concept of a material creation and let God reveal to me his perfect, flawless creation, and all was well.
What blesses one blesses all. No one was hurt. I have learned that what is true for me is true for everyone and ripples out into the universe to benefit and bless the whole human family.
It is time to put the past year’s trials behind us and be grateful for the blessings. Listen for God’s voice and move forward with God. He knows the whole story and will get you where you need to be, a place that will bless you and all those around you.
God loves you. Move forward with His blessing.