Verse: Galatians 4:12-16
12 I plead with you, brothers and sisters, become like me, for I became like you. You did me no wrong. 13 As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you, 14 and even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. 15 Where, then, is your blessing of me now? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?

The verse that stands out to me in this passage today is this: “it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you.” I appreciate the tension in this verse. Yes, Paul was sick. Yes, God can heal. No, God didn’t heal in this circumstance (at least right away). And yes, God used the sickness to help others.

Is there anything going on in your life right now that is not ideal? Are you struggling or frustrated in any area of your life? Are you disappointed?

These feelings are real, and these situations are difficult. This is not about invalidating how hard things can be. And it’s not about pretending or acting like something’s not a big deal. But I wonder if in the middle of our difficult circumstances, we can learn to find God?

I wonder if we can ask the question, “God, what are you doing in this situation?” Or, “God what are you doing in me in this situation?”

Instead of always thinking about how God can get us out of a hard situation, maybe we can think about what God can get into us through a hard situation!

James tells us something similar when he encourages us to “consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” Why?  “Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4)

What are you struggling with today? Take a moment and ask God how he can use it in your life and in the lives of others. Ask him, “what are you showing me through this? What are you saying to me? What are you teaching me?” God is faithful. He will lead you to hope even in the most frustrating times.

I pray that you would show me your hand at work in my life even when life feels so difficult.

Author: Christian Dunn