‘Beneath every cloud there is a silver lining’ is a phrase I think of all too often when faced with challenges. I received a text message from a friend a couple of weeks ago regarding her job loss. Her response to this difficulty was, “it’s okay, this just frees up more of my time so I can build my business and spend more time with my children.” This perspective encouraged me and helped me to see how God often uses challenges for good.
Of course, if you are reading this in the midst of a major set-back, I know it’s hard to see the silver lining. But please keep reading. I was going for a walk this morning marveling at the beauty of God’s creation when I noticed an airplane far off into the distance. Within seconds the plane disappeared. Clearly it had flown through a big patch of dark clouds that interrupted the plane’s route. I can only imagine the turbulence the passenger’s on that plane were experiencing as I was watching from a distance in the calm of my morning walk. I thought about the enormity of this vehicle transporting hundreds of passenger’s from one destination to the next and how from my perspective in that instant the plane appeared as nothing more than a spec in the sky. But for the passenger’s on that plane, experiencing that turbulence, I am certain those civilians were just praying for the ‘turbulence’ to go away – they weren’t thinking about the silver lining.
The silver lining principle is nothing more than having the right perspective. As I watched that plane literally disappear into the clouds I immediately recognized the silver lining God was revealing to me. Up close, our challenges may appear big and overwhelming. But, from a distance they are nothing more than a dot in the universe. I imagine God looking down on us as we battle the decisions and calamity of such stress in the midst of these trials and His response, “(my child)…For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” Romans 8:18. Therefore, we must look to Him when faced with these tests in order to gain the proper perspective.
This analogy reminded me of the story that Glavin Reid shared of a young man who had fallen down some stairs as an infant and had shattered his back. He had been in and out of hospitals his whole life with one surgery after another. But at 17 years of age this young man made the comment that He thought God was more than fair with him. When Galvin Reid reminded him that he had practically lived his whole life in hospitals, he asked the young man, “How can you say that God is fair?” He smiled and said, “God has all of eternity to make it up to me.” In our sufferings, it helps to see things from an eternal point of view and know that our pain has no comparison with the joy and glory of living eternally with God. In light of Heaven, the worst suffering on earth will be seen to be no more serious than one night in an inconvenient hotel.
We will never be able to avoid the tests and trials (the clouds) that come at us in life. But, having the right perspective will offer peace and encouragement through the turbulence. There is something so magnificent knowing that God already knows the solutions to our problems. We may not understand them but God does. Our worst brings out His best.
I pray that you choose the proper perspective and see the Son beyond the clouds and the light that illuminates the silver lining through the turbulence.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28