We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death itself. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again (2 Corinthians 1:8-10).
Having arrived in America, the Pilgrims found that their troubles were over. They stopped at McDonald’s, then checked into the Hilton for showers and a good long nap…
Ah, would that it were.
Perhaps if there had been some enterprising Wampanoag children waiting for them, with a lemonade stand and deep fried clams on a stick…but no. In fact, the hard times were just beginning. The Pilgrims found themselves at the start of a hard, cold winter. They had little left on the ship in the way of provisions, no crops to harvest, and no homes waiting for them to move into. Sickness and starvation began to claim passengers and crew alike.
The women and children stayed on board ship through the long, bitter winter. The men went back and forth, building their new homes. They wouldn’t need as many as they had planned; by spring, nearly half of those who had boarded the Mayflower had perished.
Ask yourself: What is God’s top priority for His people? How does allowing suffering in our lives (even promising it), help to accomplish that? What is your top priority in life? Does it line up with God’s priority for us?