At the end of July I started going through Elizabeth George’s study on 1 Peter, Putting on a Quiet and Gentle Spirt. The first lesson dealt with counting on the grace and peace of God. The second lesson was an encouragement to endure trials and suffering. It also contained a quote from D. L. Moody that made me sit up straight:
God has settled in heaven certain trials of our faith, which will as surely befall us as the crown of glory be given us at Christ’s appearing. God’s purposes of grace are a golden chain, not a link must be missing.
When the devil tries our faith it is that he may crush it or diminish it; but when God tries our faith it is to establish and increase it.
Persecution will be to us as the deluge to the ark—a flood to lift us toward heaven.
Our move situation was bringing unrest, doubts, and fear. But after I read Moody’s quote, I understood that God was allowing me to be tested in order to establish and grow in faith and trust.
We began searching for a place to live, but another problem arose. My husband wanted to move to another apartment, and I wanted to move to a condo or town home. I listened to his reasons and reluctantly agreed. We found two apartments; one was on the first floor and dark, the other on the second floor, a corner location, and full of light. Again, we were divided on which one to choose; he preferred the first floor apartment, and I preferred the second floor apartment. That was on a Saturday.
On the following Tuesday we looked at each apartment again. We were still divided. “Let’s go to lunch and decide after we eat,” he suggested. While I walked through Costco I thought of Jonah; Jonah in the belly of the big fish, in complete darkness, after three days, finally surrendering his will to God. It was in the darkness that Jonah came to his “senses” and submitted to God. As we walked, I knew the Lord was asking me to give up the second floor apartment. It was hard to surrender that second floor apartment, but I understood that it would be in the darkness of that first floor apartment that I too would come to my “senses” and submit to God.
During lunch I talked with Don and told him that I would relinquish the second floor apartment; he was surprised and glad. I know something like this is not a big thing for most people, but for me, after the past two years of struggles in faith and trust, and feeling like I was being led where I did not want to go, it was a step forward in faith-building and trusting my Lord.
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ… ~ 1 Peter 1:6-7