My grandpa loved to tell the story of letting my dad drive a tractor when he was a young child. My dad sat on his dad’s lap with his small hands on the steering wheel as they drove over smooth ground. But when they hit a rough patch of bumpy road and the steering wheel bounced erratically, he would throw his hands in the air and yell, “Take it, Dad!”
In a similar way, our suffering causes us to cry out to our Heavenly Father for help. When life is smooth, we are often lulled into thinking we can handle things on our own. Then the rocky patches come and we have no choice but to throw up our hands and plead with Him to pull us through.
“For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.” (2 Corinthians 1:8-9)
In these verses, Paul is telling the Corinthians about his severe suffering—trials so severe that Paul and his companions hoped death would come quickly. But Paul sees God’s purpose in the pain: “to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.”
We cherish our self-sufficiency, don’t we? It’s hard to admit our weakness and ask for help. But when our suffering pushes us to deeper reliance on the Lord, we find He is there, gripping the wheel, guiding us through the hard times. Our greater reliance on Him is a gift He gives us by His grace.
No matter what you face this week, God will use your suffering to grow your reliance on Him.
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