Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Achoo (04/11/13)
TITLE: A Temporary Setback
By Chris Goglin
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It is allergy time in Arizona! The cottonwood, cypress and juniper tree pollen explode into the air encircling the entire neighborhood. The symptoms are irritating and sometimes debilitating, and affect each person differently. Itchy eyes and throat mixed with sniffles and congestion make an annoying cocktail of gloom. However, as soon as the spring renewal of foliage has diminished, everyone can finally catch a breath of fresh air.
Challenges in life can give us temporary setbacks, such as a job loss, illnesses, relocation, or even a death in the family. They take hold of us just like a startling sneeze erupting from within with a mind of its own. When we temporarily surrender to our defeat, God is there to embrace us. His Holy Spirit will guide us as we struggle through the hard times.
“...the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express” (Romans 8:26 NIV). We forget that He lives inside us ready to take over the minute we lose control.
Just as a silky tissue comforts our tender noses, God soothes our broken hearts. He compassionately brings us through our trials in such an amazing way, that we can serve others going through the same problems. “The God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2 Cor. 1:4 NIV).
Many years ago, I suffered five consecutive miscarriages, wondering whether I would ever bear children. Waiting through each painful setback caused me to forget God’s passion for His children; and almost gave up. Through God’s grace over the years, He not only gave me five healthy children, but allowed me to witness to others in the same dilemma. His timing is perfect, and although it is sometimes irritating and difficult, God rehabilitates us to serve Him once again with a renewed devotion.
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