Wednesday, July 23

Hope in the Midst of Hardship

I’m sure you will all agree that we all go through distressing times in life. Our seasons of suffering may be brought about by relational difficulties, financial hardships, health issues, or other trials. But as God’s children, we can take heart in knowing that our pain is not wasted.

Just recently, I encountered an unforeseen situation. See, last Saturday as I was on my way to fly back home from California, the plane arrived on time to Utah (my connection flight), but the gate was closed. I only had 20mins of lay-over, but due to the gate issue, I loss 10mins already. So I rushed myself to my next flight, but as soon as I got there, there was a sign that says “Gate changed to D5”. My jaw dropped as I stare at this sign. But what else was I to do, but to rush myself all the back to the other end. Well, guess what? The plane just left! Oh my goodness! I had to rebook my flight and had to wait 7hrs for the next one (the last flight to Chicago for the day). Wow! The agony of waiting, the cramping of my legs, the tiredness and the anticipation of just getting home was too much for that day.

I did what I can to keep myself entertained. I ate, I chatted with my family and friends over the phone and online, I took a quick free tour to Utah and talked to a few people waiting for the same flight. And so I thought, thank God I was able to do all that to keep myself from being bored and falling asleep. I thought that was it for the day and figured I would just sleep through the flight. Little did I know that there was a reason why this whole ordeal had to happen.

While waiting to ask a question to the clerk at the counter, I spotted an old Asian woman who was holding a sign that seemed to say “need assist”, from my view. I couldn’t help, but to approach her coz she seemed restless. Right when I approached her, I asked to see her sign. It says, “I need assistance to go to Chicago O’Hare. I don’t speak English.” She asked me, “Are you Filipina?” And right when I said “Yes”, tears started running down her face. She was afraid to fly by herself. She didn't know where to go and who to talk to. She just came from the Philippines and was on her way to be with her daughter in Chicago. She couldn’t help her emotion while I couldn’t help but empathize. From then on, I assured her that I will take care of her the entire flight until her family picks her up from the airport. I could tell she was filled with joy and peace as she trusted m e that whole time. At the flight, I met a few more beautiful people inside and out. It was a day of many praises to the Lord. I was so humbled by God’s plan and for using m e to be His hands and feet that day.

See sometimes, our pain is for the eternal benefit of others… the Lord uses it to reveal the genuineness of our faith so that others might see it and be drawn to His Son. I truly believe that by the way we respond to adversity, our belief in Jesus becomes visible to those around us. Believers will be encouraged and seekers will ask us questions about our faith.

However, there are times when G uses trials to teach us to obey. If you read Hebrews 5:8, it tells us that even our Savior learned obedience from the things He suffered. Another purpose of hardship is to broaden our ministry. Just like apostle Paul’s imprisonment which led him to minister among the guards… resulting in the salvation of many.

Difficulties can also be the Lord’s tool in preventing a problem from happening. Like the Apostle Paul’s unknown illness that kept him from becoming prideful. I mean, when disobedience threatens our walk with God, He will take whatever steps are needed to draw us back to Him. He may allow a need to remain unmet or something cherished to be removed. His purpose is that we confess our sins, acknowledge that apart from Him we are nothing and that we should return to Him.

Friends, I may not know if what I did with that woman will bring her into a relationship with Christ, but what I do know is that I had to obey what I was called to do and not go beyond my role. I’m confident that the Lord has His great plans for all of us. We may no know the reasons for our heartaches and pains, but the wisest choice is to trust God. After all, He who saved us through the sacrifice of His Son has promised to use our suffering to bring about eternal good.

May the good Lord bring blessings to you all! Thanks for your time!

Have a JOYFUL day!

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