“Trials teach us what we are; they dig up the soil, and let us see what we are made of.” – Charles Spurgeon
I like the quote above by Spurgeon. I think there is a lot of truth in it. As humans, we grow, we get stronger, we develop by facing trials throughout life. It may seem a bit Darwinian, but I mostly think the Darwinians stole it from Scripture and from how humanity has always been since the beginning of our time here.
I am not endorsing stealing cookies from the cookie jar, but how would we begin to think critically about solving problems and coming up with answer to controversies, if those issues and problems didn’t exist to begin with. Spurgeon is getting at something that isn’t just very human, but if something that we are to add in our Christian walk.
Trials teach us what we are by showing us, in part, what we are not. When you encounter a problem like having to tell one of your best friends that he is being self-destructive about something in his life, that pushes you. That challenges you to either be relevant and a true friend, or be passive and compromising, to the point it could cost your friend his life. A trial like this shows us what we are, by making us dig into our soul and measure whether we are able to do what must be done, what we are being called to do in the lives of others.
So trials show us what we are made of by nakedly depicting what we are capable of doing from what we aren’t. Like a wise friend of mine said, failure isn’t bad or wrong. The problem with failing is if you stay down on the mud of your failure and fail to get back up to keep pushing.
Therefore, trials aren’t a bad thing, even if it depicts a lacking or something missing in who we are. The issue with trials is whether we settled for failing, or settle for quick and easy victories, without willing to grow and get stronger from the specific life issue we are currently dealing with.
If you a husband facing communication issues with your wife, the trial of faulty communication will either depict your ability to grow and pray that God helps you both communicate better, or can also depict your inability to face a true and great conviction: you aren’t perfect, you are flawless at being married, and we all still have some growing to do.
But if you can only take one thing with you, take this. The trials that God puts in our life path are an opportunity to return to God and ask Him what purpose does this trial serve at this given point in each of our lives. Trials should be a time of conviction, prayer, meditation, and conviction once again. When we go through trials, it isn’t just for us to find someone to blame for our bad luck or our pain. No. Trials are for growth. Trials are to show us who we really are. God knows who we are. We can say trials are God’s grace at work giving us a chance to come to Him and be transformed before we step into any future, bigger ambushes.