Spiritual Sundays: Permitted with Purpose

The Power of Moms is a website for mothers of all religious preferences. Our Spiritual Sundays section is a place where our authors can write about thoughts that are more spiritual in nature, and our goal is to gather a wide variety of perspectives. If you (or someone you know) has something to add to this section to help us reach a wider audience of mothers, please send the submission to submissions@powerofmoms.com. Thank you!

“Why did God make me this way?”

This was my child’s lament in the throes of algebra-induced frustration. I tried, unsuccessfully, not to cry too; I ache for it to be different for her. Despite her struggle with math, she acknowledges God’s power to change her abilities. Yet she was, to some degree, blaming Him; her comment indicts God for not allowing the needed comprehension to come easily for her.

I am powerless to change this for her. I know that God can help, yet up to this point He has chosen not to. I felt my role was to help lead her to see what God was accomplishing in and through her struggles.

When I asked what she thought, she came up empty. I reminded her that God made her wonderfully:

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

– Psalm 139:14

Then I shared with her what I have observed as I have watched her struggle through this challenge:

  • She has learned the value of hard work through redoing assignments to garner comprehension of difficult concepts. She’s seeing the fruit of her labor with a steadily improving grade.
  • She is growing in the humility of asking for and accepting help.
  • She has given others the opportunity to use their gifts to serve her as they tutor her.
  • She readily empathizes with those around her as they struggle with their own challenges, academic or otherwise. I’ve watched her encourage her siblings in their learning.
  • I see her learning how to bear up under the hardship with grace, accepting that this challenge is likely to linger, and despite wishing things to be different, she will carry on.

As I direct her to these thoughts, asking her to see how God is using this teaching experience, I fear they smack of platitudes. They don’t ring hollow or false, just ethereal, I suppose. They are true, but seem to bring no consolation to her sweet soul for the present trouble.

So, I remind myself, and her, that this is the very reason I cling to Romans 8:28 so tightly, for it contains my hope that “Whatever God has permitted, He will redeem for His purposes.”

Though I may not see God’s vision and purpose, He has promised that it will be brought to good use and for His Glory. For this is the essence of faith:

“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”

– Hebrews 11:1 NLT

We don’t yet see how this will be used for His glory or our own good, but because of our faith we have confidence that what we hope for (redemption) will actually happen.
God works all things together for our good.

Even algebra.

QUESTION: What trials or struggles do you think are being permitted to occur in your life right now?

CHALLENGE: Set aside time to sit down and make a list, similar to the author’s, of what things you are learning or attributes you are developing because of a particular struggle.

Image courtesy of Kirsten Holmberg

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