I receive Weekly Wisdom from Christ Notes in my inbox. A couple of weeks ago, the lesson was "You can't have a testimony without a test." The explanation that followed included the statement "The challenging events that we go through are what refine us and make us more like Christ. Indeed, 1 Peter 1:6-7 says that one of the purposes of going through grief and trials is so that our faith can grow and be proven genuine."
I agree with that. I've also noticed that when God has something to tell us, He'll often repeat the message so that we don't miss it. Sure enough, there is a message that God wants me to get, because as I was reading the book I mentioned earlier, there it was again.
Speaking of Abraham's faith, Sheila Walsh points out that his greatest test didn't come early in his relationship with God, but much later, after his faith had matured. Early on, his faith was small, and he kept trying to help God's plan along - fleeing to Egypt, deceiving the king, taking a concubine. . . you know the story. God didn't give up on him, and when the time came for the ultimate test, he was proven faithful.
The message for me is twofold:
1) As I sit here right now missing my kids and feeling discouraged, God is at work, in them and in me. He keeps His promises, and He will equip me to do whatever He calls me to do.
2) It's not about whose mother I am. It's about Who my Father is.
The purpose of this test is to strengthen my faith, and He will sustain me. I can rest assured.