I have clung to 1 Peter 5:10 since losing Trevor. Why? Because it’s a promise. A promise that, at some point after suffering, God will restore us, strengthen us, and establish us. A sweet friend from our language school in Costa Rica actually had an artist friend hand-paint the verse for me, and I have it framed in my bedroom. On the hard days, it’s a reminder of what God has already promised he will do, and when God makes a promise, he will always bring it to pass.
The difficult part is timing. He doesn’t tell us when. In fact, there’s no guarantee it will even happen in this lifetime. I wish I could promise that he will restore you and redeem your pain soon. He very well might. However, we don’t know that. That’s where faith comes in. We trust that he will, but in his timing, not ours.
Joseph was restored and became leader of all Egypt, second only to Pharaoh. Abraham didn’t live to see the fruition of all God’s promises to him. In fact, his descendants are continuing even today, but he couldn’t see nearly all of the picture while he was alive. Job was restored after his suffering, but the prophets of the Old Testament didn’t live to see the coming Messiah they wrote about. I share these examples because some people will see redemption and restoration abundantly in this life…and some won’t. Unfortunately, we don’t get to choose.
This doesn’t sound like good news. I wish I could hold your hand and look you in the eyes and tell you everything is going to be OK. Simply put, once you’ve lost big, your future will always look different than you thought it would. It can still be good though. If we have trusted in Christ for salvation, we can still see hope and still choose joy, even when life is hard. We know that things will somehow be OK because God has a plan that is far greater than we could imagine.
In the meantime, during this in-between season, be intentional about seeing God’s hand in your life. Write down gifts each day from him. They can be major things like the salvation of a family member or minor things like being able to sleep through the night without a kid waking you. This intentional act of being thankful can help us be grateful even when life is hard.
Sweet friend, know that God is always with you, and in all of his abundant goodness and grace, he will restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. May that be our prayer today and every day.