Following a recent lunch discussion, I decided to research the comment that a bull shark attack had once occurred in Lake Michigan. It seemed like such an impossible thought that we all scoffed at the idea of sharks in a freshwater lake so far inland. I found one online site that claimed a bull shark attack did occur in Lake Michigan in 1955, but it was never verified. A shark attack in Lake Michigan? If the story were true, it would definitely be a rare occurrence.
Wouldn’t it be great if hard times were like Lake Michigan bull shark attacks—rare or even untrue? But they aren’t. Hardships and difficulties are common. It’s just that when they happen to us, we think they shouldn’t.
Perhaps that is why the apostle Peter, writing to first-century followers of Christ going through tough times, said, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you” (1 Peter 4:12). These trials are not abnormal—and once we get past our surprise, we can turn to the Father who ministers deeply to our hearts and in our lives. He has a love that never fails. And in our world filled with trials, that kind of love is desperately needed.