Psalm 66:10 For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried. 11 You brought us into the net; you laid burdens on our backs; 12 you let people ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a spacious place.
As children of God we know that God cares for us, provides for us, guides us on the path of life. But, as these verses indicate, God will also challenge us, test us so we might grow/mature.
As father of three young adult children, I’ve become accustomed to helping my kids buy cars. There are many potential pitfalls in a car purchase, particularly in a used car purchase. Particularly in a used car purchase when you only have a few thousands dollars to spend. There’s so much junk available for sale it can take a while to find one that appeals, that is mechanically sound, and can be bought with a small budget. I’ll be honest, I don’t particularly enjoy the process, but I don’t want my kids getting fleeced, so I generally play a very active role, even when they’re the ones forking over their own money.
Recently my older daughter Victoria has told me she wants to replace her 17 year old vehicle with something a bit newer. Ok. But Victoria is now 25 years old – not a kid. So I’m helping her get started in the process, but it’s going to be different this time. She will take the lead role in the search process. I will give her guidance, but she’s the one who will do the work.
I expect she will find that getting a car you want on a small budget is not easy. It’s frustrating when people misrepresent what they’re selling, which you only find out after making the drive and wasting lots of time. Or when you think you’ve found what you’re looking for, only to find out there’s something seriously wrong with the car which wasn’t immediately obvious. Or when the car you want is just out of financial reach and the owner won’t budge on price. Ugh….
And I know my instinct will be to jump in and do it for her. She will get tired and want me to take over, but I must resist and let her work through the process. It will be harder on her, and harder on me in some ways, butI want her to grow. To learn. To be able to navigate things without her daddy.
This morning I’m wondering how my heavenly Father is testing me, pushing me, inviting me to grow in faith and maturity – out of love for me. There are a few things that come to mind for me. What about you? How would it change your perspective on your struggles if you understood them as opportunities to get stronger, smarter, better, more faithful?
Lord, listen to your children praying. Give us grace to not only enjoy the blessings, but embrace the struggles. Amen.