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Lorelei Savaryn ponders the power of the words “so that” in being open to the movement of God in the midst of human struggle. 

This past year, I have walked through a number of struggles that at times were rife with uncertainty and confusion. It has been tempting at times to emotionally distance myself from God because, for me at least, it is easier to be happy with God when things are going well on the whole than it is when I’m being asked to navigate some kind of storm. Difficult times make it easy to call into question God’s goodness, or God’s involvement in my life, much more than the easy times do.  

But the truth is, at any given moment, most of us must coexist with struggle. Sometimes those struggles are bigger; other times they take up a smaller place in our lives, but it’s a rare day when we haven’t faced some trial, no matter the scale.  

Maybe a relationship has broken down, or maybe you are being asked to sit a while in the waiting place until you learn what’s coming next. Maybe you’re feeling lonely, or that you’ve lost yourself somewhere along the way and aren’t sure how to get yourself back. Maybe you got stuck in traffic, or forgot to pack a lunch, or are simply waiting for the sun to break through an endless stretch of clouds.   

No matter what it is, we’re all there at some point or another, or maybe even most of the time. 




As I navigate the situations in my own life, I am finding it helpful to ponder the phrase so that as a way to help direct my suffering toward God and helps keep my heart open to Him.  

The idea of so that is a leaning in to trust that God does care very much about our trials. It is a leaning into hope that we are going through a thing for a reason that is good for us and/or for those who we interact with. It is choosing to believe that there is a picture bigger than the piece we can see.  

So that allows me to affirm that God has allowed anything that I am facing into my life. I also believe that God is not in the habit of asking us to walk through something without a purpose. So when I’m in any of those struggling places, it can help to look around and be open to the potential reasons that God might be asking me to navigate the struggle, even if I don’t know what they are, so that something good can come, even if that something good is not unknown to me for today, or even for a long time to come. Leaning into the idea of so that helps cultivate patience. It helps to cultivate an openness to look around and pay attention for signs that God is working.   

Are we in a boring job so that we can be done with work at the end of the day and be mentally and emotionally present for our kids? 

Are we stuck in traffic so that we can grow in some virtue that is vital to our holiness? 

Are we feeling lonely so that we can learn to better depend on God? 




We can ask those questions, but we don’t even need to arrive at any answers in order for so that to be helpful. I’m sure that God’s reasons for allowing us or asking us to walk through a difficult time are as varied as the number of souls on this earth, but no matter the reason and no matter if or when we learn what the reason is, we can trust that the reason is there. We can be assured that there is a so that that God has in mind. And that can help us not only make it through a challenge, but to allow that challenge to do the work it is meant to do.  


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Copyright 2024 Lorelei Savaryn
Images: Canva