While beginning my study abroad trip in London, God had some very unexpected surprises. You see, I have struggled with my faith the last few years, and saw the Veritas program as a terrific opportunity to fall in love with my savior again. I had hoped to isolate myself from the heartache of my world at home and perhaps focus my heart on Christ.
However, God has a way of reminding us that we can’t run away from our problems, and the best way to overcome is to lean on him. Last week, I received the terrible news that another wildfire had started in my hometown on June 11th, just two days after my 20th birthday. It has since destroyed over 400 homes, members of my family’s home included.
At first, I felt angry. Why would God do this to us? I’m hundreds of miles away and can’t be there to help my family in their time of need. This is the second time in only one year we have anticipated evacuation, and I have watched my friends and family lose their homes.
Why would God call me to England only to allow tragedy to strike my loved ones when I am unable to support them? How is this supposed to help me rediscover my faith?
Then, I picked up my bible.
You see, no one is exempt from adversity. Queen Esther risked losing her only relative, her people, and her own life. She saved the Israelites from destruction. An extremely young woman, just like me, had her faith challenged. She was in the middle of a tragedy and feared for her own life.
She had faith in Christ, even when she had no promise of her survival.
Romans 8:18 says, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
The Jewish name Esther translated means “Hadassah,” which means myrtle-a tree whose leaves only release fragrance when they are crushed. I need to allow God to utilize my suffering.
God has a plan for my family and my own suffering. Because unlike those who do not believe, I have a promise that my suffering will not be for naught. Not only that, but I will never be alone in my pain.
Habakkuk 3:8 “Though the fig trees should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olives fail, and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.”
Kaeli K, University of Colorado, London Summer