Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. James 1:2-3
"God is great. God is good." That is the way the prayer begins.
Unfortunately, there are times when we find that hard to believe.
In the 1800's, a woman, along with her little baby, was riding in a stagecoach across western Montana. The weather was bitter, and the mother started to fall into the sleepy, numbing chill of death.
Seeing her condition, the driver stopped the coach, took the baby and, wrapping it warmly, put it under the seat. He then set the mother down on the road. Without a word, he drove away, leaving her behind.
The mother immediately switched gears. She shook off her lethargy and ran after the coach, crying for her baby. When the driver was sure the woman's blood was flowing, he stopped, let her get aboard once more and continued the journey.
I don't know if that woman ever appreciated the driver and what he had done.
I do know when God allows difficulties to come to His people, they very seldom catch on that those difficulties come from a loving, gentle hand. Most assume that God has become nasty, negligent, or both.
The truth is, God, who sent His Son to save us, continues to care. He cares even during the difficult times and circumstances of life.
If pains and problems arise, we can be confident they can be used by the Holy Spirit to bring us closer to our Lord.
Which is why I suggest if your faith is cooling down, or you're finding yourself starting to fall asleep spiritually, do not be surprised if God stops the coach and sets you running on the road.
If it happens, think twice before you get mad at God. He may just be saving your life.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, sometimes I don't see how much You care. I pray that the Holy Spirit will use even the most difficult circumstances to bring me closer to You. Give me trust in Your goodness and gracious hand which is most evident in the Savior's sacrifice. In His Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries