Lets think of some words that start with “T” …. that could make us cry?
Taunting….Tattlers….. Taxes….. Temptations…. Terrors….. Theft……. Tombs….. Torment…. Torture….. Traitors…… Travailing…. Tired….Tribulation…. Trouble….
Many others that I could have listed or …. many that you are thinking of that haven’t even crossed my mind but are very high up on your list of “T” words for Tears.
The “T” word however, that God gave me was Trials.
Websters definition is:
A TEST of the quality, value or usefulness of something
A TEST of someones ability to do something
A TEST of Faith, patience, or stamina through subjection to suffering or temptation.
The word TEST was in all of those definitions and I dont know about you…. but I have never been a fan of TESTS!
Have you thought about those trials you are…. or have gone through…. as a test? Really… when you think about it…. that is exactly what they have been. Those tests… those trials have made you who you are today…. who you will be tomorrow! Look back….can’t you say that…. TODAY…. you are much… Much stronger than you were before the trial? A lot more wiser? How about your Faith? Hasn’t it grown some deeper roots?!?!?
Like most of you… I have had my share of trials throughout my soon to be 53 years on this earth. When you ask me about those trials…. many times I will refer to the “adult” trials I have had…. but… one “trial” when I was a kid was probably the one that really set my journey of character building into motion…. and I had no idea until just a few months ago the impact it had on me.
I think I had pushed it out of my carousel of memories and thought I could just forget it…. but with it being brought back to the forefront of my mind lately… I believe it is what God wanted me to bring up in this lesson.
I am really not sure how old I was when this happened…. I really am not sure the exact “how” “when” and “why” it happened. The one thing I DO remember… is the long lasting sting that continued to happen all through my Grade School, Jr. High School and even through High School.
Living out in the country as I was growing up…. I was a “bus kid”and was close to the last picked up… and the last dropped off. The ride probably was 30-45 minutes long…. and sometimes felt like 4-5 hours. Most of the time there was a few people we could talk and laugh with… and if some of my friends weren’t on …. I could always try to do some of my homework… or just gaze out the window…. watching the poles go by.
The older you got… the farther to the back of the bus you got to sit. That… of course is where the older… “cool” kids were. Like I said… I still have no memory of how old I was…. but apparently one of the High School Boys must have pulled my hair. It must have been bad enough…. because…. I really wasn’t a touchy kid… that after I got home… I must have began to cry….. and that is when my parents must have called the school.
My life…. began to change from that moment on! The “cool” kid was kicked off the bus…. and I … inherited a new nick name….. Miss Priss…. Prissy….. Priss Priss Priss Priss Priss! From that day on… the bus ride to … and from school always had a chant of some sort ….. with my new name attached to it. It never really let up all through my school “career”…. although the last of the “cool” kids of that era graduated a year ahead of me… which meant my SR year was a bit less “colorful” on the bus ride home.
Looking back…. I know I shed many tears over that. I never could understand how I got “punished” for something that someone else had done! I was a kid… 10-12 years old I’m sure. A girl. Not a threat. Not mean. But nevertheless… I was singled out and Taunted and Tormented! That Trial… that TEST… came to break me. In many ways it did… but in even greater ways… it only made me more resilient and stronger! It came to make me cower down…. and to never speak out on in justice for myself… and even others! For a time… I suppose it did… but with all of the other “Trials” I have gone through since then… I am not that person the devil wanted me to be!
God had plans for me. He protected me through many of those situations…. mentally, physically, and Spiritually! I had great parents that I knew had my back….. and I made it through!
In the ’70’s….. “bullying” was not as mean spirited as it is today! Bullying …. also was not as tolerated either…. because even the kids who did step into that roll… knew… it was wrong… and had parents that would not have supported that kind of behavior.
Trials…. come….to test… test our Faith… not only for God…. but for ourselves… they not only show God your faith is genuine… but also proves to yourself… how genuine your faith is!!!
Go through your Trials… with your head up … as best you can… shed a few… or a lot of tears… but keep on keeping on through it. It is only for a season… only for a “little while”… and when you come out of it… you will be like the man in the story below!!
Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace].
1st Peter 1: 6-7
So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
Acts 20: 19
I have done the Lord’s work humbly and with many tears. I have endured the trials that came to me from the plots of the Jews.
Trials…. I often think of this story below …when I wonder … why … we have to go through some things..
The Unmoved Rock
Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain. Seeing that the man was showing signs of discouragement, Satan decided to enter the picture placing thoughts into the man’s mind such as: “You have been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn’t budged. Why kill yourself over this? You are never going to move it.” Thus giving the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure.
These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man even more. “Why kill myself over this?” he thought. “I’ll just put in my time, giving just the minimum of effort and that will be good enough.” And that he planned to do until one day he decided to make it a matter of prayer and take his troubled thoughts to the Lord.
“Lord,” he said, “I have laboured long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even budged that rock a half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?” To this the Lord responded compassionately, “My child, when long ago I asked you to serve me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all your strength, which you have done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push.
And now you come to me, your strength spent, thinking that you have failed. But, is that really so? Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled, your back sinewed and brown, your hands are callused from constant pressure, and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition, you have grown much and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. Yet you haven’t moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom. This you have done. I, my child, will now move the rock.”