Not many of us have experienced the pain of losing a child, much less the unthinkable tragedy that Steven Curtis Chapman’s family experienced two years ago.
In her book, Choosing to SEE: A Journey of Struggle and Hope, Mary Beth Chapman writes these words to her son Will Franklin:
You have been entrusted with an incredible pain! I’m so sorry. I wish as your mom I could take it away, but I know that God has a plan for you to steward this story well and to minister to other in your suffering.
Nothing I’ve suffered in life has ever compared to that kind of loss. Nevertheless, whatever trial, whatever suffering you are in the midst of is the pain you must contend with. Do we think of it that way when we go through times of trials and suffering?
Do we feel we are ”entrusted” with something valuable and precious? Our sovereign God has not accidentally heaped pain upon your life. Your trials are specifically designed for you in love, and He delights in carrying you through them:
We cannot fathom the intricacies of the divine plan. But make no mistake, when we are in the driest desert, we can receive the manna to make it all the way to the other side where trees bud again and children laugh. God sometimes delivers us from evils we will never see. Other times He parts raging oceans before our very eyes. Still other times He says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you…Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.” (Isa. 43:2, 5)
-from the prologue by Beth Moore
I, personally, need the reminder today: That not only does He sometimes lead us to the desert, He makes provision for us to come through it.
I admit I don’t always count it all joy, or steward my story with thanksgiving, but I am growing in it day by day. I’m giving praise today for being entrusted with whatever He chooses to bring my way, and however He chooses to carry me through.