Stephen was stoned to death. He trusted in God completely, even as he was being falsely accused, he trusted in God and he still lost his life.

My husband preached about Stephen a few Sundays ago and I’ve been thinking about our own family, our own trials, our own suffering, how certain areas of disability impact us and how often I cry out to God to help me, to help our family.

“Trusting in God in the midst of trial does not mean everything will work out. It means that by trusting we have peace, even if the worst case scenario happens. Trust in the midst of trial is a result of a Spirit filled life.” – Andy Stumbo

And here is a confession, so often I cry out to God in despair because I want Him to fix things! I cry out to him because I don’t want the worst case scenario, I don’t want the hard, I don’t want the messy. I want the peace, oh I want the peace! But I want the peace to come because then everything is okay, like, really okay.

But it’s not.

My middle daughter is 8 years old and has Cerebral Palsy. We adopted her from Ukraine when she was almost 4 years old, which means she carries with her 4 years without a family. Parenting a child from a hard place is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do.

There have been times in my parenting journey that have wrecked me. I’m incredibly thankful for pediatricians and therapists who give their time. Therapists that are brave enough to say to me, “Ellen, you need to do neurofeedback too, you need a counselor to help you process all the hurt that you’re experiencing.”

And we have wonderful friends that have been praying for our family. Oh we are so thankful for the prayers!

As a parent, I always want to make things better for my children. I wish I could magically take away all their pain, hurt, and fear. But I can’t.

Sometimes I look back at the hard times we have had as a family and feel terrified to be there again. Terrified that once more I will feel hopeless because I cannot help my children..

But life is messy. So messy.

And what if we end up here again. What about when we end up here again.

I want to trust God, but I want it to mean this is all behind us. However, God never promised to take our problems away, he did not promise prosperity and blissful joy. He promised trials, because life is messy,

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” John 16:33 NLT

That is not what trusting in God means, and I needed to hear that as my husband preached:

“Trusting in God in the midst of trial does not mean everything will work out. It means that by trusting we have peace, even if the worst case scenario happens. Trust in the midst of trial is a result of a Spirit filled life.” – Andy Stumbo

So we can make a plan for emergency situations. We have people helping us invest in our marriage too so that we can be stronger when these challenges come our way.

We need peace.

Not peace that everything will be okay, but peace that surpasses all understanding. The peace that only comes when life feels like it is falling apart, yet you know who you belong to, and you know He’s with you till the end.

I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27 NLT

Yes, a peace this world cannot offer, because it is a peace that is not dependent on circumstances, on whether our life is going well or falling apart. And that is exactly the peace I want, the peace I need.

I don’t know what your messy looks like, but may you find God’s peace in the midst of life.

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