Be Thankful For Troubles, Because They Bring Us Growth

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thankful for troubles

 

This Side of Eternity, No Blessing is Unstained

I’m writing this from my neat and tidy, newly refurbished computer. Every time my kids and I sit down to record a podcast episode, we first stop and thank God for putting us in a time and place where technology like this is available to us, especially on our limited budget. My new hard drive didn’t even cost me anything because of the warranty.

But I don’t like “wasting” time resetting passwords and replacing lost files. I am tempted to resent the reality that my decision to stay home means I can’t afford a new computer that is likely to last for years, certainly not a Mac that should mean I don’t have to deal with switching things out for the better part of a decade!

Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest. NLT

For many years I’ve clung to Proverbs 14:4. I have much more of a “Mary” heart than a “Martha” one. Give me a class to teach or a book to study, and I’m in heaven. But dishes? Laundry? Three square meals a day? Ooff. With homeschooling you can’t have the one without the other. And Jesus set me the example; I am growing as much like Him as I clean small bodies, cook, and brush teeth as when I teach them apologetics.

 

It’s All in How I Look at It

I remember one of the biggest mental shifts I had in the aftermath of 9/11 was looking up at the clear blue sky. Suddenly, I realized I would never resent the scars of airplane trails on a sunset again. Their presence in the air above my country now represents freedom, safety, and community to me rather than the intrusion of man on every point of God’s creation.

When I’m tired it’s harder for me to remember this, but when I take time to step back and try to catch God’s vision for my life, I see how much He’s at work in the little, frustrating things of life. If I choose to, there will always be something to complain about. I can be utterly miserable in the middle of great blessings if I want. But if I turn my thoughts around and follow the Psalmist’s example, I can find praise and thanksgiving in the worst things of life.

We don’t enjoy discipline when we get it. It is painful. But later, after we have learned our lesson from it, we will enjoy the peace that comes from doing what is right. Hebrews 12:11 Easy-to-Read Version This verse is talking about the kind of discipline we endure when we’ve done wrong, but it clearly applies to every area of growth God assigns to us. Whether I’m learning to overcome bad habits or strengthening a skill Jesus has decided it’s time for me to develop, I can choose whether I focus on the pain or on the end goal. And God has promised us the goal will always be worth it! Thank you, God, for showing me Yourself as much through the difficulties of my life as You do through the blessings.

 

Cheri Fields is a 2nd generation homeschooler involved in learning and teaching at home since 1982. She currently teaches her seven kids in Michigan and has found ways to include them in the online ministry God has called her to, particularly as cohosts for their family’s podcast. You can find her at https://creationscience4kids.com. She is a member of the International Association of Creation and a graduate of the Institute for Children’s Literature.

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"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).
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