I visited my friend at the hospital where her son is recovering from his severe brain injury, and I was struck with the journey that she is on. There are times when we are brought to a point where our lives are stripped bare, all the distractions and the extras no longer matter, and we see ourselves and the world without filters. This is where we see if our beliefs will hold up when God is not the God of blessing. To hear this mom talk about the lack that she has found, and then to see how she has taken this as a moment to build and strengthen rather than to despair and give up just gave me pause. It’s all the difference. It won’t be easy, her faith is still shaky as she sits watching her son struggle to stand, unable to speak, unsure of where “normal” will be. But, it’s the difference between Judas and Peter. Both failed, and miserably. Both knew it. But one returned, was able to build back up, and then served others from a place of pure and total humility, knowing that he had been no better than anyone he served. This is where the joy in trials comes from. Not that we enjoy the trials, but that we know through them, God will touch us deeply, and in turn touch all those who come in contact with us. I know that’s what is happening here, and it is stunningly beautiful.