Psalm 66: 10-12. “For you, O God, have tested us: You have tried us as silver is tried. You brought us into the net; You laid a crushing burden on our backs; You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water, yet You have brought us out to a place of abundance.”
My nephews and their young families came to visit recently and decided to go to the ocean for the afternoon. Due to it being early in the season, there were no lifeguards on duty at the beach to which they chose to go. While their children played and jumped the waves, each of the dads stood at the water’s edge and intently watched their children, ready to run in and rescue them if they got knocked over or pulled out by a rip current. I love the picture of these faithful, strong young men giving up relaxing time on the beach to guard their deeply loved kids. They did not hover; instead they let them experience what it is like to have a force of nature be much stronger than them but only let it go so far. They were there to assist when it got too rough. The kids learned to jump the waves or ride them in without getting knocked over.
Why does Father allow us to get hit with waves that threaten to knock us over? He is certainly strong enough to prevent anything difficult from touching us. Why would He allow catastrophic loss of possessions or health, betrayal by a spouse, false accusations at work and job loss, or misunderstandings that lead to hurt feelings and the end of a cherished relationship to happen?
It is important to understand the following:
- He is for us, not against us.
- Nothing touches us that has not passed through the loving hands of our Father.
- He is God. He sees the long-term effects of what we go through from a completely different perspective.
- He is good. He doesn’t play games with our lives.
- We learn to trust Father much more through the hard times than when life is easy. We grow through struggles.
- This world is not our home. Father uses tough times to remind us that what we are really longing for is our real Home, not our earthly home.
- Just as my nephews watched their kids intently, Father watches us intently. He is not far away or disinterested.
He has promised to bring us out to a place of abundance: abundance of love, joy, and peace; abundance of His presence and watchful care; abundance of hope for an eternity with Him.
As the line from the old hymn says, “His eyes are on the sparrow and I know He watches Me.” Will you trust Him?
Written by Cherri Raws Freeman: Cherri Raws Freeman is the author of the book Beside Still Waters: Discovering Peace in the Midst of Your Child’s Addiction. She and her husband Joe, a graduate of the Colony of Mercy, founded Love Them to Life, a support ministry for mothers of addicts. Cherri is a graduate of Wheaton College and the mother of 5 adult children, 2 of which struggled with addiction issues.
Think About This: “You can be courageous in admitting your sin precisely because God is richly abundant in his mercy.” -Paul David Tripp