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Trials, Heroes, and a Savior!

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After realizing that Bradley was at the same location for several hours the other day at work, Mom wondered if he was responding to a fire. They were actually doing ice rescue training. Mom asked if Bradley got in the water. His response, “yes and I can’t wait to do it again!” It was then that Mom realized she may have asked one-too-many questions…There are very few people I know that would actually look forward to entering the freezing cold water in the middle of Winter, but Bradley would be one of them. Bradley often does various trainings at work saving people (usually a dummy) from wrecked cars, burning buildings, and manholes. So, this isn’t the first time that Mom has wished she asked fewer questions.

A question that we’re commonly asked as children is “Who is your hero?”. The answers are slightly different depending on the question’s context. Usually, they’ll most often be first responders, political or religious figures, and celebrities.

In many ways, 2020 and the beginning of 2021 have left us looking for a savior, a hero. Someone to put an end to the unprecedented, uncertain, and scary times that we’re living in. Many of those who have gone before us; The Greatest Generation, our parents, and grandparents can’t say that they’ve been through anything similar to what’s going on today. That leaves us feeling even more unsettled and fearful. The entire situation is overwhelming, exhausting, frustrating, and scary.

Yet it begs the question: who are we looking to be our savior? Who are we hoping will be the one to save us from this madness? Hollywood actors and actresses, the Government, the Church?

Something that I’ve been learning recently is that Jesus is the ONLY One with the ability to truly save us, and you know what? HE ALREADY HAS!

In his sermon on Sunday, one of our preachers made the comment “{that God} didn’t promise us an easy path, He just promised to give us the strength to get through it”. The Bible tells us that Jesus’ very name Emmanuel means “God With Us” (Matthew 1:23). Over and over in the Bible, He promises to be with us through the struggle. He is faithful even when we are not (2 Timothy 2:13).

When Jesus died on the cross He did so to save us from our sins and to be the perfect sacrifice that we needed (Matthew 1:21, Hebrews 10:1-4, 12,14). He finished the work that His father had Him to do (see John 19:28-30).

So what does this knowledge mean for us in the middle of the struggle? In the middle of the trial? After all, even Jesus said that “in the world you will have tribulation”. As much as I wish I could snap my figures and be at the end of this trial, it’s just not possible.

But I’m learning that it’s within the trial that we are able to grow.

As we struggle and begin to realize that God is our only hope to come out of the battle victorious we’re drawn to Him. We start to see familiar passages of Scripture take on a new meaning–something deeper than we ever noticed before.

I’m doing a Bible study on the Book of James written by Elizabeth George. She says “Trials work to test my faith which produces patience which makes me perfect and complete lacking nothing” (P. 18). She notes that “‘perfect and complete’ is not sinless perfection, but a right relationship with God that is lived out in obedience” (P. 17). (See James 1:3-4).

I have in no way perfected this, it’s something that I am still learning. But I think the way that we get through the trials and grow in our faith is to stand on what we know to be true–the Word of God.

Elizabeth George puts it this way in her book “Growing in Wisdom and Faith” (emphasis mine) “Look at each trial with the eyes of faith. The eyes of faith will SEE the hand of God in all of life. When I suffer I must BELIEVE in the goodness of God and His perfecting process of me and my faith. I must BELIEVE that He and He alone knows what He is doing. I must BELIEVE during the painful times that God loves me and is in PERFECT CONTROL of ALL THINGS. I must BELIEVE in the greater-yet-veiled purposes of God. And I must BELIEVE in the results of my testings.” (P. 20 See 2 Corinthians 4:18).

Admitting that we struggle is perceived by many to be a weakness but with God admitting that we are weak is where we find our strength (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

Another thing that I am finding myself so grateful for is how hard 2020 was. I’m realizing that I needed 2020 to be what it was. I needed to feel as though my world was falling apart in order to really SEE how God was there holding my world together, as He always has been. Putting all the pieces together as only He can…

Until next time,

Bailey Sue

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