I used to think that life was a journey from one season to the next. How winter slowly turns to spring, then spring to summer. That a rhythm also existed in the traveling from the times of joy and abundance to the times of testing and trial.

I heard an illustration recently that explains this a little differently. It says that life is like the two rails to a train track. One rail represents blessing, the other represents trials. As we move along the tracks of this life, we will always travel forward with blessing. However, with the blessing, there will also be trials.

We, recently, experienced this firsthand in my family.

A while back our pastor announced that a children’s choir from Uganda would be coming to perform at our church and that they would need housing for a couple of nights.

After discussing it with my husband, we decided that we would volunteer to be one of the host families to have a group of these children in our home.

Then, about a week later, my daughter had her six-month checkup with her doctor. It was discovered that her hips were not developing correctly. After a visit to the orthopedist, it was determined that she would need to wear a hip abduction brace for three months.

I was able to hold the tears back long enough to get us both in the car.

As a mom, receiving news that something isn’t right with your child, no matter how serious the situation is never an easy pill to swallow.

The choir arrived on a Sunday. We arrived at the church early to meet the three girls and their adult host who would be staying with us. Our church was packed that evening, and they gave an outstanding performance!

After it was over, we all packed into our minivan and took them to our home. Almost immediately after we walked in the front door, everyone headed straight for the room that sits next to our entryway. The french doors were wide open revealing our collection of musical instruments.

My husband’s hand drums beckoned them.

After a short jam session, we all said goodnight. It had been a long day for them, and we would have time to visit with them more the next day – but not until after my daughter had her appointment in the morning to get her brace.

The very same day we experienced the blessing of our guests from Uganda, learning more about their culture, singing songs, playing board games, coloring pictures, and making sculptures with homemade play-dough, was also the day we stepped into this trial with our sweet baby girl.

This may seem to be a small representation of my point, especially in comparison to the circumstances others find themselves in, but I hope it paints a picture that blessing and trial can, and do, exist together.

Sometimes we have to intentionally look for blessings. Especially when the fire of trials seems thick. The best way I have found to see through the haze is gratitude.

Gratitude has an amazing way of placing our vision beyond the visible details of our reality. It helps to take our focus away from our own abilities and put it on His.

What trials are you facing today, my friend? Ask God to help you see the blessing in the midst of it.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~Phil 4:6-7

Prayer

Thank you, Lord, for all the spiritual blessings you have given me in Christ! I always have a reason to rejoice and be thankful. Help me not to focus on the storms raging around me, but instead to dwell on the things that are excellent, true, and worthy of all praise.

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