From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: My teenage granddaughter has lost her eyesight and is devastated. I am at a loss to know how to encourage her. She is a Christian but doubts that she will ever be of use to the Lord -- B.G.
A: It is easy for others to say, but the Bible teaches that many will go through trials and tribulations in this life. The psalmist wrote: "Praise our God, all peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard; he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver... we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance" (Psalm 66:8-12, NIV).
In the mid-20th century a little girl was blinded because the retinas of her eyes were destroyed when she looked at a bomb blast during an attack in Korea. Her father tried to kill her by throwing her into a river. He eventually left her at a home for deaf and blind children and she was eventually adopted by Americans who loved and nurtured her. This little girl -- Kim Wickes -- grew up to study and train her voice to sing to millions of people around the world. Kim's experiences could have destroyed her and left her hopeless, but by God's grace she triumphed over adversity.
There are countless Christians who face daily pain and persecution. But they know the joy of the Lord because He does not allow His children to endure hardship alone. The Savior of the world endured His pain and sorrow alone and because He understands, He enables others to emerge better and stronger when they rely on Him to see them through. Just as fire refines silver, suffering purifies Christians. Why this happens to some and not others is a mystery we cannot fully comprehend, but we can trust Him to never forsake us.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)(c)2020 BILLY GRAHAM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.