We forget that a setback can be framed as "opportunity". We look down at our dirty feet, feel the exhaustion in our bones, and say we can't backtrack down the road of hard labor and do it all again. We are too blinded by our anger and disappointment to see the little bite sized pieces we have to do over. We forget that the hardest part of a hard road is the unfamiliarity with the terrain. Armed with our cognitive road map of each boulder and crevice to be traversed, the second time down the path will be much easier.
If our character is to expand to a Christ-sized dimension...if our self is to grow smaller to make room for His priorities, we must see trials as opportunities for growth rather than hearing the hollow sound of a door slammed shut forever. In the bleakness of the dark night that follows, we must see the starlight and moon, the little glimpses of hope that lead us through the darkness of the trial to the sunlight of the morning.
So grab your road map. Lift that heavy pick ax up onto your tired shoulder. Put your shoes back on those dirty feet. Follow Christ back down the bumpy road to the place where you have to start over. Let go of the fear lacing each step. He's with you on this road. You have a trustworthy guide. If you try to walk on instead of going back and getting it right, you'll come across this seemingly impossible section of the trail again and again. You might as well let yourself be led back to the starting point and walk it with Jesus today.
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You'll get his help, and won't be condescended to when you ask for it. Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust. Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer. So, my very dear friends, don't get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures. (from James 1, The Message)
*thoughts after my dissertation was rejected for defense yesterday, as I start back down the path of revision today
|Joining Joy in some truth-telling today|