And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. – I Peter 5:10
The young man rushed to the train station, eager to catch a glimpse of the 32nd President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was early and few others were gathered when the train pulled in. The rear door opened to reveal one of the most powerful men in the world. His mouth dropped open as he watched FDR, with the help of two aids, struggle to his feet from his wheelchair. Together they fought for every step till he reached the rear platform podium. Here he locked his leg braces in place, and finally stood confidently. Soon the space surrounding the platform was tightly packed with people. FDR flashed a broad smile, delivered his short speech, and then he was on to the next city.
The experience was brief, but that glance of the powerful President as wheelchair-bound made a life-long impression on this young man. It was partly so shocking because many people had no idea about his disease. For various reasons, FDR had convinced the media to keep it hushed and to only publish pictures of him seated or standing, never in a wheelchair.
FDR contracted Polio at age 39, which left his legs nearly useless. No doubt such an illness is a tragedy at many levels. Yet here’s the crazy part: some believed he never would have been President had he not contracted Polio. The limitations imposed by the suffering, though certainly undesirable, brought focus to his activities and sharpened his mental clarity. In the end, suffering in one area led to flourishing in another.
I Peter 5:10 says, “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”
Have you experienced suffering in an area of life that resulted in flourishing in another? Or do you know someone who has?
Parents: We at Seeds Family Worship have no idea what kind of challenges or suffering your family has endured. The last thing we would ever want is to somehow gloss over these real pains with trite phrases that make it sound like everything will be great. We pray that as you read through this, God would give you wisdom to navigate the balance of recognizing real suffering for what it is, and also turning to God and trusting Him in the midst of these sufferings. That’s all we hope to accomplish with this devotion – is to encourage anyone in the midst of suffering to seek God and depend on him.
God thank you that you know how to take our sufferings and help us grow through them. We don’t always know why we suffer, and some things may never be answered in this life. Help us to trust you completely and to look to you for wisdom. We love You.