Tribulations and Triumphs

Do not fear your tribulations.  Without them, you may never savor the taste of your triumphs.

These words came to me as I was packing up our car for a weekend road trip to my oldest son’s gymnastic competition in a city a few hours away.  I’m not sure why they did, but I took the moment to jot them down.  Throughout the drive, I kept thinking about them.

Tribulations and triumphs.  Heartache and hope.  Despair and contentment.  I’m pretty sure these words make up much of the human existence.

The gymnastics competition went well for my son, and for the team.  He made some mistakes, but did his best, and his team won first place. Gym

On the way home, our van broke down.  It was unexpected, and quite random.  We just put new tires on, and had it completely serviced a few weeks ago.  A hose broke and sent smoke and fluid throughout the engine.  Stuck on the side of the road with children, my mother, my husband, and cold weather, I recalled the words,

Do not fear your tribulations.  Without them, you may never savor the taste of your triumphs.

At the time, I did not embrace these words.  If anything, I was pretty annoyed. Thankfully, we were able to get our van towed to a local mechanic, and my children, mother, and I were able to get home through the help of family.  My husband stayed behind, and arrived safely home the next day after the van was fixed.

I’m not exactly what is going on, but it seems that lately I have been stuck somewhere between a blessing and a curse.  I take two steps forward, then wham…I have to take four steps back.  Unexpected and costly medical issues have come up recently.  We have also had vehicle issues, and random household repairs that all have been quite expensive.  This incident this weekend just seemed to be the icing on the cake for us, and ended up costing more than we initially thought it would.

Do not fear your tribulations.  Without them, you may never savor the taste of your triumphs.

As the day progressed, I thought more about these words gifted to me on our way out-of-town.  I thought that maybe someone else needed to hear them.  There are so many people going through tremendous battles in their lives.  Keeping them all in mind, I thought, “I can write about these words.  Surely there’s a blog post there.”

I’ve realized that while someone else might need to read them, they were very much meant for me.  I have been told, “God must be getting ready to bless you big-time; otherwise, you would not be going through what you are going through.”  I’m not so sure I believe this.

I do not believe God owes me anything more than I have already been given.

I have a family.  I have a home.  I have many other things in my life that I consider a blessing.  I have love in my life.  I have salvation.  After this, nothing else really matters.

Do not fear your tribulations.  Without them, you may never savor the taste of your triumphs.

The truth is that I have struggled lately fearing tribulations.  Perhaps other mothers (and fathers) feel this way as well.  News of violence around our community and our world seems to be commonplace.

There is not one day that I drop my children off at school and wonder about what they might face during the day.  I also think about the world to which I am raising them.  Truthfully, I have begged for Christ to return.  I have yearned for it.  If not for my own feelings of fear, but for the sake of my children.

And yet, I return to the many tribulations in the past and how they have turned into triumphs.  I look back and recognize that I have always been given just what I needed, right when I needed it.  I return to the fact that each day is a gift.  Each day is an opportunity to embrace this incredible faith in Jesus Christ.

Do I fear my tribulations?  At times.

Do I walk around with a bad attitude?  Sometimes.

Do I wish that life was just a bit easier at times?  Of course.

Have I tasted the victory of triumphs?  Yes.

And, do I recognize that the greatest triumph of all is found in Christ?  

Absolutely.

Christ triumphed for us all, and the taste of His victory is so sweet.

Do not fear your tribulations.  Without them, you may never savor the taste of your triumphs.

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