Everything in life is a gift. That’s my big takeaway from today. Abe and I spent an hour this evening chatting, and we both came to that conclusion. Abe is stressed out by a mammoth work deal right now, and I am stressed out by culinary school. As we talked through our frustrations and reviewed past situations in our lives where God has helped us through, we came to the conclusion that no matter what trial we’re staring down, each experience in our life is a gift from God.
I also have spent the past couple days thinking about the prophet Jeremiah and the Holocaust survivor, Corrie Ten Boom. The latter said, “God is good all the time.” She said that God was as good to her in the midst of her suffering as he was towards the end of her life (when she lived in abundance and ease). Jeremiah was thrown into a mire without water and left there until he was about to die (and indeed would have died, save for the compassionate intervention of his Ethiopian friend). I wish I could talk to Jeremiah and ask him if he had the same experience of Corrie Ten Boom. Was God good to him during his trial? Did he figure out the gift in that experience? Was that experience a gift?
I have never had trials of remotely similar scale to those people, but from my own experience, I can look back and see how God’s hand is found in every part of my life–even the hard parts. Right now cooking school is hard because I find it very difficult to feel successful. I pray all the time for God to get me through, and yet here I am, six months away from graduating, and I don’t think there’s any way I’ll look back on this time and say, “Wow, God really helped me to ace culinary school!” What I can say, though, is that He has helped me navigate and learn from the multitude of mistakes I make during this experience, and having to face and fight through my weaknesses so frequently has been spiritually transformative. There’s my gift.
Abe has dealt with the trauma of having a deal that he’d hoped and prayed over for three years at his past job go through (a huge high!) and then be taken away, through no fault of his own, just weeks later. Right now it looks like he’s “caught a whale” (his dad’s term) at work, but that trauma lingers in his mind and makes him paranoid and afraid during the long, drawn-out process of complication-navigation. Since he’s what working through feels so big, the complications that arise and his past trauma make him feel intense anxiety and stress.
(Side note: We went to the eye doctor today, and the doctor detected loads of stress in the blood vessels of Abe’s eyes. He told Abe to take a vacation. Mexico, good timing!)
Anyway, the point is that once we understand that all our experience is a gift, we can move forward with confidence. If this deal goes through, what a gift! If it doesn’t, I know God heard our prayers and must be answering us with something better. Abe and I both feel comforted knowing that our lives are in God’s hands, and that He answers our prayers with the best possible gifts.