For the Good of Others
“I can’t understand it. I just don’t understand why this is happening. How could I miss the signs? I just feel so…. disappointed...and hurt.” She sat across the picnic table from me, grasping her coffee cup firmly as she finally let the words flow from her heart and out into reality. Instantly I was brought back to a time in the not so distant past where I found myself saying these very words on a cell phone that carried my heart cries across oceans to a listening ear on the other side. And as I thought of all that I had been through then, all the emotions and the fear, all the heart cries and burdenas that I carried for far too long on my own, I couldn’t help but look across the table today and smile.
“For such a time as this…” I whispered.
There is a unique quality of how God works that I think often goes unnoticed. We talk about how our struggles are all used for our good, for the good of those who love Him. We talk about how they make us stronger for the next battle, how they draw us closer to Him, how they make us more like Him. And all of that is true. But there’s a piece to the puzzle we’re missing. Our struggles are not just about us. God doesn’t just bless us through the hard times. He blesses and teaches us so that we can in turn bless and teach others.
Listening to this woman pour her heart out to me I couldn’t help but hear echoes of my own life. It may not have been an exact match to my burdens and fights, but there was enough of a resemblance that I could look her in the eye and confidently share with her the lessons I had learned in my own struggles. I could look in her pain, feel it with her, and say to her, without any doubt or hesitation “…but God….” I could share with her that God knew her struggles, because I had walked in the darkness of feeling alone. I could share with her that God saw her breaking heart because I had experienced my own heart breaking and later watched Him put it back together again. I could sahare with her that God heard her cries and WOULD respond because I had experienced the fulfilment of this truth in my own life. And I could do it in such a way that mirrored her own journey because I had walked through the storm with Him not that long ago. I could be used by Him to reach her heart, just as someone on the other end of a phone call could be used by Him to reach my heart. We could continue the cycle of sharing His love and faith to someone else because He had brought us through our own testing of these truths. It’s a cycle that seems to know no end!
By the end of the day she was smiling again. She was standing taller and even voicing her emotions more freely. And it wasn’t because of anything I had said or done. It was because God was there to connect two hearts, who had only met a little over a week ago, through a cycle of love that began long before our coffee date. God set in motion a purpose for the pain and struggles of someone before me who could teach me and walk me through my pain and struggles, in order to sit here today to help another of God’s beloved to walk through their pain and struggles. And all the while growing His children stronger, closer, and more in tune with Him.
Truly… how amazing is our God?! His glory knows no ends! Keep your eyes open, dear ones. Look and see how God will bring purpose to your life, the good and the bad. And let Him lead you to a place where you can add more value to your struggles by being able to connect and walk through someone else’s struggles with them, pointing them always back to the source of your strength and faith… our amazing, loving Father.