TALK ABOUT SUFFERING HERE BELOW …

By Lisa Huddleston

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. (1 Peter 5:10)

Relationships can be hard. Truth.

And it can be especially hard when a relationship has trouble, and you find yourself with the inability to do anything about what’s causing the difficulty. At a time like this, I am thankful to have a Heavenly Father who knows my heart, sees my tears, and responds to my hurt with encouragement and good promises on which I can rest my weary head.

As you know, Chuck and I live on a fifth-generation family farm in Middle Tennessee with our mothers, cattle, cats, dogs, goats, ducks, and chickens. Besides our moms, other human family is often here as well, and we all benefit from the lessons that surround us in this nurturing place.

In the past few weeks, we have introduced 2 new goats and 4 new chickens to the menagerie. And although you often hear that “birds of a feather flock together,” it can take time for peace to be restored when newbies arrive. The lil’ girls are still running to hide from the mean old biddies who are used to ruling the roost, and the lil’ fellas in the goat field are taking a lot of pushing around from the bossy older guy they are now living with. Relationships can be rough.

Naturally, Chuck and I do our best to smooth the ruffled feathers when we are there, but the truth is that all we and the newbies can do is give it time and let the pecking order fall into place. As we know from bringing in others in the past, cats and dogs will find their own ways, and the same is true for new chickens and new goats. Time will do its good work. We can only wait.

I don’t know about you, but I find waiting to be one of the hardest things to do (or NOT do). I want to fix relationships that are broken. I holler at Blaise when he head butts the boys, and I run to rescue the lil’ girls when I hear squawking and see feathers fly. Do Blaise and the big girls care what I do? Heck no!

And the same is sometimes true for humans. When I see difficulties for others or especially when I feel that I am on the business side of a head butt, it is nearly impossible for me to sit down and wait for God to do his work. But He is reminding me that He is on the job, and I can trust Him even with the most heartrending relationship struggles. He will work all things together for good. He does hear my cries and see my tears. He will restore,  confirm, strengthen, and establish me. I have not been forgotten nor do I need to defend myself. At the proper time, He will exalt me from this humbling, and I can safely and confidently cast my cares on Him.

Thank you, Father, for squawking hens, for pushy goats, for words that salve a broken heart, and for your never-ending faithfulness.

So shall it be. Amen.

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