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Learning from Adversity

Posted by Cinda On May - 26 - 2013

from Barb’s own personal journal, desiring to give hope to others…

It was February 4, 1983
… a bitterly cold night in Minnesota, but my husband and I decided to continue with plans to attend a concert in Minneapolis with friends. When the music was interrupted mid-program for a short message on Romans 8:28, I wondered idly who might need its truth that night.  Someone there must need reassurance that God would work their troubles out for good.

firedisasterIt was not until two days later that I realized I was one who had needed that reassurance.   For when we arrived home we found our house being consumed by fire.  Although firemen came, they were too late to save anything but the nearby trees.

One of my first thoughts was that now we would have an opportunity to live out our values and to be a witness of God’s presence in a time of loss.  For many weeks afterward we had a platform for proclaiming His faithfulness.

During the early weeks I prayed often, “Lord, don’t let this loss be wasted.”  How could I know that our witness would prompt a young couple to make a commitment that would lead them to become missionaries overseas.  Or that another couple would reach out to non-Christian young people in their community because of a change of focus.  Our sorrows were not wasted.  And we learned, among other things, that God is true to His promise to “work all things together for good to those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.”

We learned, too, how impermanent material things are.  II Peter 3:11 says, “Since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in all holy conduct and godliness.”  Our priorities became more spiritually attuned when we saw how quickly our possessions could disappear.

We still enjoy having a few nice things around us, but we hold them lightly as a trust from God.  We know how temporal they are.  The fire could not take anything from us that was truly important.   That was a valuable lesson to learn.

Author: Barb / CCF Contributor
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