Sometimes when we look at things from our earthly perspective it is difficult to see the purpose in all things. My great-grandmother married at a young age (18) and had five children. One day her husband became ill at the age of thirty-six. He died within 7 days. He had contracted the Spanish Flu of 1918. She was present at his death and had wondered about her own health after having been exposed to his sick state. She was left isolated in the rural Eastern Cape of South Africa as a clerk on the railways with five minor children ranging from 9 years to 5 months of age and she was only thirty.

I have often wondered how she coped with all this adversity and hardship. But God made a way and brought this family through all of these challenges and her children followed God and today there are a number of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and even some great, great-grandchildren who are all in the ministry, serving God and helping others to know the love of God in their lives.
There was no way that my great-grandmother could ever have imagined how her family would be used intergenerationally by God. I am sure that while she was going through the roughest of times she wondered if it was worth it. If she had known that down the road there would be generations of people serving God, because of her faithfulness, I’m sure she would have said: ‘I can do this!’ But now, from her eternal perspective, I am sure she knows that it was all worthwhile.

When we are facing challenges they seem very real in the moment. So real, in fact, that they cloud our judgment. We may feel like we are just existing or surviving. What we do not always realise is that we are still playing a role, setting an example and showing those who will come after us how to deal with their challenges. One day, when we go to be with the Lord, we will be able to see, with the benefit of eternity, all the meaning of life’s most challenging situations. When we get to heaven, only then will we fully understand why we had to go through certain things. The story of Joseph is an illustration of this for us. As he looked back on his life he was able to say the following: ‘As for you, what you intended against me for evil, God intended for good, in order to accomplish a day like this – to preserve the lives of many people. (Genesis 50:20)
Note it says: ‘to preserve the lives of many people.’ When we get to the other side we will discover that the challenges that we faced, were not only for ourselves alone, but also for others and more, it would be part of God’s great plan to save and preserve the lives of many people. So go for it – it will be worth it in the end. God will bring good out of evil.

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