Trials that refine us

We read and hear that suffering is simply a part of life.  I don’t like to suffer.  It hurts, it makes me feel afraid, angry, unsure of what to do, sometimes even hopeless.  I want to avoid pain and strife as much as possible!  As a mom, it’s hard to accept when circumstances arise in life that causes my children to suffer. My first instinct is to protect them, to remove the source of pain, to fix the problem.   Michelle Anthony, the author of our book, offers up a challenge to us as parents to rethink how we parent in these situations. “Instead of quickly reacting to rescue our children from a situation, friend, etc. that may cause them to suffer, perhaps we could begin to think about practical ways we can allow trials and suffering to strengthen [our] children.”(pg. 120)

As I began thinking about this and reflecting upon some painful periods in my life, I realized something.  It was in the midst of that pain, I learned to lean on my Heavenly Father for strength and wisdom to face the days. When I became overwhelmed by situations, sorrow, or hurt, the only place I could go to find peace and quiet in my soul was in His presence.  It was there that I heard him say ‘trust me’, that I knew he was truly the place of my refuge and source of my strength.  A bond with Jesus was forged.

The author goes on to say, ”The best gift we can give our children is the confidence to see that we believe everything is filtered (even the bad stuff) through God’s hands.  We need to start looking at these hard things that happen in our kids’ lives as things that God wants to use to refine them and then we need to walk with them, prayerfully, and model for them how they should respond in grace under trial.”(pg. 120)

I don’t like seeing my children suffer so I will pray with them, council them and walk with them through the trial while trusting that God knows what needs refining in their lives.  God uses trials to refine us.  I like the imagery of that statement.  Going through trials is not pleasant, actually it is quite painful. But look what beautiful creation comes out of it!  That’s the part I don’t want to deny or prevent my children from experiencing.



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