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You WILL be DELIVERED from your trials.






But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.
Acts 26:16-18

Do you ever sit and wonder why you might be going through a certain trial or affliction?  Does it ever feel like a waste to you?  If I am being completely honest, those thoughts have gone through my mind, and usually in grumbling terms.

For example, last weekend my husband and I decided spur of the moment to go to our favorite Inn for our annual Christmastime dinner date.  The Wayside Inn is about an hour and twenty minutes from our home.  Coincidentally, my husband received an email about the historic Buckman Inn which was open for touring just a few towns away from our dinner destination.  This was not just any Inn, but a 300-year old Inn on the green in Lexington, a witness house to the start of the American Revolution.  We arrived around 3 p.m. and spent about an hour at the home.  As someone who loves American History, I was in awe to stand in such an historic place, and was delighted by the quaint Christmas decorations.








We still needed to kill some time before the first dinner seating at the Wayside Inn.  We drove around the area and looked at the pretty countryside and gorgeous homes.  Then we stopped at an old-time country store which had a candy shop.  Oh the smell of that chocolate made my already growling stomach growl even more.

My husband and I then headed over to the Wayside where concern furrowed my brow as I saw the amount of cars that were already in the parking lot.  We were hopeful it was just a Christmas party being held in one of the event rooms.  As I walked toward the lobby filled with people, my concern deepening.  We had never needed to make dinner reservations here before.    I approached the receptionist and asked her if there was a table available.  She replied, "No, I'm sorry, we are totally booked."  I couldn't believe it!  In  my mind, we drove all the way up there for nothing!  It didn't help that I was beyond starving.  This dinner date is something I look forward to every year.  I had been thinking about their delicious roast chicken since the afternoon.

"Drove up there for nothing"??  I had allowed my frustration at "not getting my way" to detract from the joy I had experienced just an hour before while visiting the Buckman Inn.

Thankfully, my inner turmoil and frustration did not show on the outside, and I was very polite to the lady who had told us they were booked for dinner.  My poor husband, on the other hand, got to hear me rant until we found a place to eat.

I had found an Olive Garden near by and thankfully, there wasn't too long of a wait to be seated. Even though it wasn't the roast chicken I had been waiting for all day, I ordered my favorite chicken and gnocchi soup to start and the chicken scampi for dinner.  

I was happily surprised when our meals arrived fairly quickly.  But my happiness turned to despair.  I looked down in front of me where the waitress had placed SHRIMP scampi.  I very politely said, I didn't order shrimp scampi I ordered chicken scampi.  The waitress looked at her notepad and said, "Oh! You're right!".  I stayed calm while she was at the table, but once she left, I was thinking WHY??  I am beyond starving.  We already didn't get to go to my favorite Inn and now this!?!?  My husband was going to wait to eat his meal, but I told him to go ahead and eat.  No reason for him to have cold food.   So I started to take a bite of my breadstick only to look up and see my waitress coming back with my meal, literally three minutes after she left. I was like huh??  It turned out she had grabbed the wrong order and my plate was there all along.

Thankfully, I remained kind and polite to the waitress throughout this whole situation.  Believe me, I'm not patting myself on the back since my thoughts and attitude, as my husband can attest to, were anything but Godly.   More like a spoiled brat who should have been thankful she had the option to eat out or even have any food whatsoever where there are so many in the world who are starving.

There but for the Grace of God go I...

Maybe, just maybe, the Lord sent me into those situations to deliver me from them so that my witness would impact the two women I encountered that night; the one behind the counter at the Inn, and the waitress at the Olive Garden.

As my nephew's girlfriend can attest to, who hostesses at a fancy restaurant, patrons can be extremely rude and obnoxious to innocent restaurant workers.  In fact, by the stories she told, it almost seems more like the norm... 

The way we behave in difficult situations speaks volumes to others about our character, and especially our Christian character.  When we are kind, in spite of our own discomfort, we are showing the love of Christ.    And when we show the love of Christ, the Kingdom dividends are great.

I share this illustration to show that even something that may seem so insignificant, God can redeem.  My frustration and discomfort was not wasted at all.  Whether for the benefit of the two women I encountered or a strengthening of my own character, God doesn't waste a single situation in our lives.

You may find yourself being sent into a very difficult trial or affliction - a broken marriage, a loved one who is in the throws of addiction, a serious health problem or even cancer.

Our Heavenly Father sends us into these situations so that He can deliver us, and in our deliverance, our testimony will draw others to Christ.

Deliverance might not look like you expect it to...  

Your marriage might not be reconciled, but your deliverance may come through a much closer walk with Jesus, your Heavenly Bridegroom.  

Your loved one may not become sober, but your deliverance may come through a peace that surpasses all understanding.

You may not be healed this side of Heaven, but your deliverance may come through experiencing joy in sharing in the sufferings of Christ or of soon meeting your Savior.

The testimonies resulting from all of the above illustrations will  "open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me."

I attended a Memorial Service last weekend for a dear friend Evie.  For two years she suffered horribly with ALS.  Yet I heard story after story of her great joy despite such a cruel, cruel disease.  In the midst of suffering, she was still God's instrument, caring for lost souls and winning people to Christ, though her body languished.

Even during her Memorial Service her wishes that the Gospel go forth in boldness were granted as the Pastor preached with power about Evie's Saviour.

Evie's deliverance came in death, but now she is whole again in the arms of her Saviour.  I am sure that in her death, even more eyes have been opened and have turned from darkness to Light...

Take courage when you find yourself in fiery trials, for the Lord has sent you.   In His time, He WILL deliver you, and through your deliverance others will be drawn to Him so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified.


There is a peace that cometh after sorrow,
Of hope surrendered, not of hope fulfilled;
A peace that looketh not upon tomorrow,
But calmly on a tempest that it stilled.

A peace that lives not now in joy's excesses,
Nor in the happy life of love secure;
But in the unerring strength the heart possesses,
Of conflicts won while learning to endure.

A peace there is, in sacrifice secluded,
A life subdued, from will and passion free;
'Tis not the peace that over Eden brooded,
But that which triumphed in Gethsemane.

Streams in the Desert, L.B. Cowman


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Comments

  1. Oh, how precious it is to read of your trials and how God gave you grace to be kind to others, even though your heart was broken inside! He understands our humanity and our disappointments, and yet, He provides the grace to not injure the feelings of others, because of our own hurt. You are a shining light, dear friend. I love and appreciate you and thank the Lord for the consistent encouragement you are to me. May He bless you and your dear family with a wonderful Christmas!!

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Cheryl. They mean so much to me!

      And thank you for sharing your insights here adding blessing to my post.

      Thank you! And may God bless you and your family with a very blessed Christmas!

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  2. Thanks for this reminder that God can use even our difficult situations- to teach us and build our character and to witness to others as we respond with grace and love. I'm sorry for the loss of your friend. It sounds like she was an amazing woman and that her response to suffering was a powerful witness.

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    Replies
    1. Lesley, You are welcome.

      She was someone that was a big part of my life many years ago as we attended the same church, but then we moved to a new church and had fallen out of touch. It was always so sweet to run into her over the years. But sitting at the Memorial Service, I realized what a huge impact she had on my life. That is a beautiful Christ-like legacy to leave.

      Blessings,

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  3. What a great reminder that God can bring good out of anything, even a dreadful disease or a messed up date night!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Colleen ( visiting form Thought-Provoking Thursday)

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    Replies
    1. Colleen, You are very welcome!

      Thanks for visiting! I appreciate it!

      Delete
  4. Thank you for the reminder to press on and press through the tough stuff, trusting God to work through it all.
    I do love visiting those old historic homes - especially at Christmastime! My family and I just visited Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House. So lovely.

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    Replies
    1. Linda, You are welcome! :-)

      Only in the last few years did I visit there after finding out that I am a direct descendent of Louisa May Alcott! And to think I still haven't read Little Woman yet! lol.

      Thanks for stopping by. :-)

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