"Is the Lord in our midst or not?" Exodus 17:7
Like the Israelites, we tend to ask this question when we are in the midst of some trial. In Exodus 17, the people of God grumbled and complained because they were thirsty. They forgot all about the pillar of fire that guided them at night, the parting of the sea so they would be saved from the Egyptians' wrath, the manna and the quail from the Lord's hand for them to eat.
In Romans 5:3-4, Saint Paul advises that we should rejoice in our trials and tribulations: knowing that tribulation produces steadfastness, patience and perseverance. This in turn develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. When we are undergoing some trial or testing, let us be confident that God is doing some perfecting in us. Just like any master potter, He will knead and mold, and carve. He will throw us on the potter's wheel again and again. He will creatively use the needle or the brush or whatever tool He can, to make us into the masterpiece He plans.
Lord, it may be hard to rejoice in the trials and sufferings we sometimes go through. May we always be aware that You walk with us during these times, and may we be confident that You are doing some important work in us. Amen.