Their son's long days and nights of recuperation from a freakish accident produced trying times for the family.
Their get-up-and-go was slowly playing out. They had grown weary of well-doing.
The grandfather of the injured lad came to bring encouragement and moral support. In trying to comfort his son, he said, "You know, son, hard times do test our faith, which can produce endurance, which in turn makes us more mature."
A long pause followed. Then, with a wry smile he said, "I don't know about you, son, but I am about as mature as I want to be from tough times!"
There was heard a loud "amen" from the son.
When we say "Tough times test our faith" we are not saying that God actively wills and makes such times happen; for God only actively wills wholeness, healing, and health. God does allow such times to happen, but God grieves and cries with us when accidents happen that cause pain, huge medical expenses, long nights of recuperation, and sometimes death.
God never promised to spare us from tough times, but he did promise to be with us, to help us cope, endure and finally prevail.
James, in his little epistle, encourages us to view tough times as challenges and opportunities to grow closer to God and to family and friends.
Some of my cherished friends are those whom I have allowed to walk with me down my trails of tears and turmoil. It is so true: sharing our troubles makes them less burdensome, and sharing our joys makes them more joyful.
Let us never forget to take time to celebrate the good times and the good news with friends and God.
Difficult times often result in crises of faith; however, if we believe in the providence of God as stated in Romans 8:28, then, such times can provide us with opportunities to experience God's grace in ways we would never have been able to do otherwise. The added blessing also comes in that now we possess a "faith frame of mind" to help others to pass through their trials.