Curtis and I have definitely had some curve balls thrown our way this year. Some of them have been directly related to our church and others have been more personal. The hardest ones have been a combination of both. There have been times when I've thought, "Lord, what is going on here? Why are such weird things happening to us all the time?" Please trust me when I say that some of these things have been weird. I've always had a weird life but a few of these situations have been BEYOND. God has repeatedly reminded me of the words in 1 Peter 4:12, which says, "Dear friends, don't be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you as if something unusual were happening to you."
When I saw the interview with Bob Bowman I was deeply affected by it. It was obvious that Phelps' coach, who loved him and had his ultimate good in mind, had done him a huge favor by allowing him to go through all sorts of crazy trials. In that moment I thought of the most recent things we've gone through and I felt God's love for us. It was an incredible reminder that our Father is purposeful and loving when He plots our course. The minor irritations and the major tribulations are given to us - for us - to help us finish (and win!) our races.
"Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing," (James 1:2-4).