Distress can drive us to or away from God – it’s our choice. Distress that drives us to God brings no regret, but all gain – as God turns it around for our good.
In 2 Corinthians 7, Paul talks powerfully about this concept:
Now I’m glad – not that you were upset, but that you were jarred into turning things around. You let the distress bring you to God, not drive you from him. The result was all gain, no loss. Distress that drives us to God does that. It turns us around. It gets us back in the way of salvation. We never regret that kind of pain. But those who let distress drive them away from God are full of regrets, end up on a deathbed with regrets. And now, isn’t it wonderful all the ways in which distress has goaded you closer to God? You’re more alive, more concerned, more sensitive, more reverent, more human, more passionate, more responsible.
My son Israel loves sirens – as soon as he hears them he says, “Mum – ear orr ear orr.” Then when the sirens stop, he says, “More!” He wants me to make more sirens happen and I have to explain to him that I don’t make the sirens happen, I’m not in control of it.
Like little children look at us for all their needs, we need to have that same trust in God. There are limitations to what I can control for my son – but God has no limitations. When are circumstances are bringing limitation, when we are in distress – let’s make sure we allow the distress drive us to God.