Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mercy in Trials

Jay and I lived in Athens, GA for almost 4 years before we moved to our current home of Gainesville, FL. Before moving, we were under the pastorship and teaching of a dear man of God for a short time. Elder Dolph Painter is a wonderful friend and brother in Christ who has endured many trials and triumphs in his life. He is the father of 5 precious children, and his insight on biblical parenting is something we should all strive to reach in our own families.

We recently received a book in the mail titled "Daily Meditations", written by this dear man. Each calendar day showcases a short article to read...incredible, thought-provoking messages that speak volumes to our minds and hearts. This book has already been an incredible blessing in my life, and I look forward to reading more. With permission from Elder Dolph, I have included the message for today, as it helps direct our attitude in regards to the trials in our lives:

"My family and I were recently discussing the tribulations of the prophet Jonah. We tried to imagine having seaweed wrapped around our heads and sloshing around in digestive juices for three days. I really dramatized Jonah’s situation and then read, Jonah was vomited on dry land - Jonah 2:10.

My youngest son said, "I know I am suppose to look for good in all things, but I do not see how Jonah’s trial could have been any worse." My son was recalling a lesson I recently taught on being thankful in all things, what Polly Anna called the glad game. In an innocent manner, he was questioning that teaching.

For a moment I wondered how Jonah’s case could have been any worse. I thought he could have been in the fish’s belly for four days but desired something with a little more punch, for I was dealing with a middle school student. Then it came to me, the Lord could have sent Jonah out the back door. If Hannah and David could go there (1Sam 2:8, Ps 113:7) why can’t I? My son busted a gut. My wife busted my knee.

I may be exaggerating my wife’s reaction, but I am not exaggerating the Lord’s mercy, even in judgment. I pray we can speak as David, …all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. Yet the Lord will command His loving kindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life - Ps 42:7-8.

Bear the trial, glory in infirmity, and faint not is the advice given in 1Co 10:13, 2Co 12:8-9, Heb 12:5-8. Relative to tribulation, the Lord knows what we need, when we need it, and how much we need. Jonah did not trust, but after 72 hours was found saying, "Salvation is of the Lord" (Jonah 2:9), which is where we all need to be. Salvation is of the Lord. Amen."

For more articles, please visit Moriah Church's website here.


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