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How Long?

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.—1 PETER 5:10 KJV

Connie read this scripture in a devotional book and almost threw it against the living room wall. Immediately, she regretted her anger.

“I’m sorry, Lord.” Weary tears filled her eyes. “It’s been a long, hard road.”

Her mother’s diabetes had caused more stress than Connie ever expected. Mom did not seem to understand the importance of following her diet and taking her insulin on time. As a result, she had experienced insulin shock episodes, which sent Connie into a panic. She worried, too, when Mom neglected toe infections that might worsen and result in amputation. An only child, Connie felt as if her life was consumed by her mother’s disease. She tried not to resent Mom’s attitude, but sometimes Connie felt that she could not bear it one more day. Especially when she read scriptures like these.

“‘A while’? How long is ‘a while’?” she asked. “A month? A year? Five years? I can’t handle it, Lord. I can’t.” Finally Connie broke down and had a good cry. Afterward, she made a glass of iced tea and went outside to watch the glimmering stars in the dark, soft night. So lovely. For ages, God had directed their paths. Couldn’t He take care of Connie and her mom?

Connie sat down and soaked in eternity. Her mother’s time of suffering—and hers—didn’t seem so long.

Father, when the growth process seems endless, help us look to You, the God of the universe, for perspective and strength.

Adapted from

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