You walk out of the house in the morning and notice that you have a flat tire on your car? What do you do?
You notice a lump on your breast. What do you do?
On your twenty-fifth anniversary your spouse throw their wedding ring at you and announces they are getting a divorce. What do you do?
The Christian faith has recommended a challenging response to bad news. Here is one of those responses:
“There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!” (Romans 5:3-5 – The Message).
How do you shout for joy when your life is collapsing around you?
According the Christian perspective, troubles are to be greeted as opportunities for personal growth. We say we want to be a strong, resilient people, yet, we shrink from the thought of pain and suffering. Give us courage but don’t give us a test of courage.
As my friend, Jim, often says, “No pain, no gain.” St. Paul agrees with Jim.
Ronald Friesen © 2015