By: Susan Bea Good
“So, if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for He will never fail you.” (I Peter 4:19/NLT)
Years ago one of my very young sons was an impatient traveler. Early into every trip he would ask, “Are we there yet?” He was never satisfied with the honest answer, instead he would offer a deal- “How about two minutes?” His daddy and I would always agree that two minutes sounded about right, and that seemed enough to encourage our boy that the trip was almost completed.
This past year has been for me like a terrible too-long trip. I have prayed without ceasing that the end of this journey was near. During this time I discovered that many of my friends are also on their own too-long travels. Some are new widows, others have had many decades of struggle that have them badly worn.
I’ve asked God repeatedly to hasten the completion of my present painful journey. Not long ago I asked Him to convince me that He is still moving my life towards a good conclusion. Indeed He has convinced me that He’s a gracious Father who has actually been patiently carrying me as I learn just how sufficient and complete is His power and sovereignty.
Sixty years a daughter, forty as a wife, and over three decades as a mother…the relational-pain which spreads over this time has overlapped and culminated in this past terrible year. I can testify that in all this time God protected me. God fought for me. God saved me. He never left me alone!
My newly found precious church family enlisted me to teach the children on Sunday mornings. We are almost finished with the book of Genesis. Joseph’s testimony of God’s faithfulness is documented in the final chapters. When his journey of suffering was complete he made this statement to his repentant persecutors, “What you meant for evil, God meant for good.” This is how God works with us today! He is faithful to carry us through the journey that seems too hard and too long to survive. He never puts us aside or loses interest in our cause. He is with us until the end!
Sometimes God shares a glimpse of our destination before it comes into our sights. As with the two dreams He gave to the teen Joseph, God sometimes gives us a clearer picture of the route we are traveling.
Following Joseph’s journey has been such an encouragement to me that I have chosen to adopt his attitude for myself. I am grateful now for the years of pain, especially this last period of intense suffering. God has shown me that my trials were a blessing to some who watched and saw that He was faithful. They were a blessing to me also, as God worked to convince me of His goodness. I am hoping and praying earnestly that this time will produce a continued reward that far outweighs the difficulty invested in the journey. I’m convinced it will!
This blogger’s hope is to be an encouragement to faithful Christ-followers as they recognize God’s Big Picture and purpose to be a part of it. Adonai Eloheinu!