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Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. HEBREWS 5:8
It's easy to focus on the struggles in our lives and not recognize what God may be doing. I've always thought this historical summary I read from Ted Engstrom, who headed Youth for Christ and World Vision in his fruitful lifetime, was encouraging:
Cripple a man, and you have Sir Walter Scott. Lock him in a prison cell, and you have John Bunyan. Bury him in the snows of Valley Forge, and you have George Washington. Raise him in abject poverty, and you have Abraham Lincoln.
Strike him down with infantile paralysis, and he becomes Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Burn him so severely in a schoolhouse fire that doctors
say he'll never walk again, and you have Glenn Cunningham, who set the world record in 1934 by running a mile in four minutes and six seconds.
Call him a slow learner, retarded, write him off as unable to be educated, and you have Albert Einstein. Have him or her born black in a society filled with racial discrimination, and you have Booker T. Washington, Harriet Tubman, Marian Anderson, George Washington Carver, and Martin Luther King.
We could add many others to that list. People like Corrie ten Boom, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, whose incarceration in a concentration camp or prison cell became their classroom. Or Joni Eareckson Tada, whose wheelchair has become her platform for amazing ministry. I could tell of others whose names you wouldn't know, just as you could add names from your own life. Each is proof of what Charles Spurgeon said: "The Lord gets His best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction."
Could it be that even now—on the front lines of your current ordeal—God is making you more battle-worthy than ever before?
In what ways has God used trials and adversity to make you stronger, wiser and more usable? Or have you allowed hardship to merely harden you into stubbornness and bitterness?
Ask God to use the "highlands of affliction" in your life to mold you into a good soldier. And ask Him to do the same with your children.