"There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. that will be the beginning." - Louis L'Amour
Well, I believe that we have all survived the challenges of the ice storm of 2017. It is amazing how much we may fee "inconvenienced" by the difficulties this world (or weather) map place in our lives. While I don't read Louis L'Amour as much as I probably should, it is always a good read in an ice storm. An I really liked this quote from him.
When we have to go through the trials of life, they often comes to us like a cold bucket of water in a deep sleep. It jolts us awake from our deep sleep, life’s repetitions, and reorients our priorities. "How am I supposed to charge my phone or iPad?" "How am I supposed to cook something to eat?" " How do I keep my family warm?" The realities of the time spent without electricity, or damage to trees, houses, cars, etc. can seem to overwhelm us.
Trials and difficulties will make a theologian out of anyone. And since we all have (or will) experienced them, you know what I mean. We eagerly await the end of the challenge because we believe everything is finished...but should it be?
Trials which test our faith, are inevitable. But we so often don't like to think of them as spiritual disciplines? While we live in a culture predicated on speed, we would much rather avoid difficulty than learn from it. We would much rather deny, numb or medicate pain than grow from it. But I think we should reflect on what James taught...
James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
The perseverance through trials means you work through it, rather than run from it and learn from the difficulty or pain . The practice of accepting challenge means you give difficulties, discomfort and their subsequent emotions your full attention. When hard times come, you don’t deflect, run or medicate. You cry, mourn and grieve, but most of all, you trust. You don’t lose hope, and you learn from pain, and you grow your faith. And that is when God may begin to create the beginning of something great!