Adjacent to the bird-of-prey sanctuary, the location of my main assignment as a service missionary, there is a large fishing pond where many wild ducks live. Every morning and evening the ducks come to the sanctuary, as we throw grain out for them to eat. One morning we noticed a small American wood duck (what it is doing in England, we still don’t know) that was tangled in a fishing line, with a sharp triple-hook caught to its left leg and wing. We tried to catch and help it, but it kept on escaping.
Finally, one afternoon, we managed to catch the duck using a large net. As we took it out, the duck put up quite a fight, but we were able to restrain it. Then, we carefully tried to remove the sharp fishing hook. The duck panicked and cried out in pain. It thought that we were trying to harm it but, we were trying to help. Eventually, the fishing hook and line were removed, and we released the duck back into the pond. As it ran away from us, I thought to myself, “That poor animal will never know that all along we were just trying to help it.”
Then the thought came to me, maybe that is the way that we think of God sometimes. When trials or hardships come, we sometimes panic and get angry at God. We think. “Why would He let that happen to us? Why would He put us through all that pain?” But maybe He was just trying to help us, even if He had to put us through a short amount of pain for our benefit, to heal us spiritually and make us stronger.
Looking back at past trials I have faced I can now see the Lord’s hand in all of them. How he helped me through them and used them to make me into the person that I am now. I am very grateful for that.