Annie Johnson Flint is probably my favorite poet. Many years ago she wrote a wonderful poem entitled “His Billows” based on these words from Psalm 42:7 “—All thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.” Do yourself a favor–find it and read it.
The point of the poem, as the title indicates, is that regardless of our difficulties they are “His billows”. In other words, God either causes or allows everything that happens to us. That’s right, I said, “everything”–no exceptions! He is always in control. He does so for a reason and, if we maintain the right attitude, He will use them for our good.
Here’s the problem–we really don’t believe Romans 8:28 like we claim to do, at least when the problem is personal. We like to quote it to others when they are going through great difficulties, but we don’t seem to accept it when the problem is ours. When bad things happen that we can’t change or control we tend to get bent out of shape.
If you’re struggling with your attitude regarding your afflictions, maybe these words from an unknown writer will help:
Stand up in the place where the dear Lord has put you, and there do your best. God gives us trial tests. He puts life before us as an antagonist face to face. Out of the buffeting of a serious conflict we are expected to grow strong. The tree that grows where tempests toss its boughs and bend its trunk often almost to breaking, is often more firmly rooted than the tree which grows in the sequestered valley where no storm ever brings stress or strain. The same is true of life. The grandest character is grown in hardship.
Remember my dear friend–it is “character”, not comfort, that counts. For every trial there is a reason and a season (it won’t last forever), so let’s “grow” today!