This post is about you. It's about how you react to the trials and tribulations, and never giving up, even when life throws you under the bus. But before I begin, I think an object lesson is in order. So allow me to present you with this short little tale.
It all begins with how people react to trials in their lives. Most people will cry, curse, panic, get depressed and many other considerably worse things. Yet, when trials get you down that is the absolute LAST thing you should do. When you're kicked to the curb and God lets you be beaten down it's often for two primary reasons. The first is to GROW you. The second is to BLESS you. Case in point.
Not long back a local butcher named Tom's Meat Market had a fire. It was pretty depressing for them. They didn't lose everything, but they may as well have as they had to throw out so many things. It also forced them to be shut down for nearly half a year waiting on insurance, township approval to rebuild, plans, money, and so much more. Yet, they persevered, and by the grace of God they've already begun rebuilding and are actually quite far along.
So why is this a blessing in disguise? Well, to understand this you have to know the place itself. For those of you who don't, allow me to paint the picture. Tom's was a long time fixture in Hastings, Michigan. It was a meat market, a grocery store, and so much more. This was a general store in every measure of the word even though they only claim to be a meat market. Even so, during their 30+ years of operation they became the go to store for the entire city. During that time the store had been changed around a lot, things adapted, displays improvised, things worn out, stuff needing replacing, etc.
In short the store was wearing out and needed an overhaul. Enter the fire. It forces them to close the store and clean up the place, make repairs, improvements, etc. And boy, are they making improvements! This fire, which seemed so tragic, has turned out to be an incredible blessing as it's allowed them to completely revamp the store, update it, modernize it, improve it, and so much more. The evil that Satan intended for them, God turned around and used for their good! Through this fire not only will Toms come out the better, but it's becoming more popular than ever before, thanks to the publicity of the fire, and the subsequent rebuild, and all without the owners lifting a finger really.
So in the end this story of sadness has a happy ending. What started out as bad ended up good. In fact, better than they could ever have hoped! An upgraded, more modernized and updated (and better looking) store, more potential customers (once they open) than ever before, and so many other incredible blessings!! So what does this have to do with you? Consider this. The words trail and trial are essentially identical, save for two letters which can be swapped back and forth. In a sense that odd fact makes these two words into a mini-sermon all its own as it describes how, in our daily lives, sometimes the trials we go through are actually the trails down which God guides us for the purpose of improving and growing and blessing us.
Remember my highlighted words above? Yes. Your trials, dark as they seem, are the trails that God uses to BLESS and GROW you. Just as a stressed plant will grow better than one that is not, the same is true of you, and God knows that. So the next time you are hit with a trial in your life that seems impossible, know this. God understands what you need, even before you realize it, and He alone knows what it will take to move you to the next, higher, and greater place in your life where you need to be. So don't curse, swear, or grow frustrated when bad times hit you. Look up at God and praise Him, and ask, "Lord, I know this is from you. What am I to learn from this?" Then listen for His still, small voice, and once you have heard all He has to tell you, obey, and you will grow and be blessed in ways you can't even imagine. :)