No matter what hard trial we are in, the Lord uses it all. He never puts us on a shelf! Even in our deepest pain, He redeems it all. Nothing you have gone through or are going through is in vain.
I remember reading Joni Eareckson’s first book: Joni. It has a picture of her with a brush between her teeth. She wrote, ‘I want my thoughts to praise the Lord.’ That came to mind one night when I went into lock down paralysis from my fall into the ravine.
I was quoting Psalm 145:1-3 in my mind to keep from panicking. As my mind began to slow down, I asked the Lord, ‘Please help my last thoughts to be of praise to You.’ Joni’s life was and is a tremendous encouragement to me and countless others.
She speaks and writes from her crucible trial. Even though she could not move on her own, she praised the Lord through her thoughts. He never put her on a shelf. Remember from Psalm 22:3 that God inhabits our praises.
Think of Nick Vujicic. He was born without arms or legs. The Lord has used him in a unique ministry that touches folks in ways no other way can. I’ve watched his videos, and I’ve read several of his books.
Amy Carmichael (1867-1951) had a vibrant ministry. She was a missionary in India that rescued little babies and young girls from temple prostitution. One night she stepped into an old abandoned well and shattered her ankle. That stopped her in her tracks. Did that finish her ministry? No, it expanded and enhanced it in many ways to reach more people in their present pain.
She never left her bed after that fall. Yet, wrote countless books, and still was the overseer for the orphanage in Donhavur. Her book “Rose From Brier” helped me through a difficult time of physical pain. She lived in pain and wrote from her crucible of pain.
It does not matter what has happened to us. What matters is how we process it to acceptance. In Jeremiah 18, the Lord told His prophet to go to the house of the potter. Verse 4 says, “And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.”
Our hard trials cause marring, and we are never the same. Yet our Merciful, Compassionate Potter uses everything in our lives to conform us to His image. That is His purpose. Romans 8:29 says, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son…”
We can take heart in Philippians 1:6. It says, “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” No matter what situation we are in, we can gaze upon the Lord. It is through our intimate communion with Him that He sustains us and empowers us to be all that He has called us to be ~ in each and every circumstance of our lives.