“When I understand that everything happening to me is to make me more Christlike, it solves a great deal of anxiety.”
A truth held to, in this case, to know we’re being proved through a tempest, in order to become more patiently resilient and spiritually durable, means we’re getting something to that which we must, without doubt, endure. Certain storms happen, and have happened, and will happen, and there’s nothing else we can do but see them as a phenomenon growing us into the people of God.
God will make good out of heinously bad, if we’ll allow. We must grant our permission, giving in to Divine foreclosure, before it will occur.
In the simplest terms, there’s one truth that can help. When we cling to that truth, for our spiritual lives, the Lord fills us with hope that he is using contemptible circumstances for our good. He is making us stronger because of them.
Allowing The Pain Its Passage
We know, or we have a sense, that the storm fronts that build at our gates are just like other meteorological phenomena—there’s nothing otherwise that will control these events. We must build the fortitude of our spiritual constitutions in order to deny the storm its damage.
There’s no sense in denying the storm, or even to let it batter us. Many of us have tried both these things. Otherwise we’ve tried attacking the storm and it only wore us out. Many methods have failed, and perhaps we tired of resolve to deal with circumstances beyond our control. That made us feel useless, helpless, fatigued.
But when we understand that, in becoming more Christlike, there’s actually a passage for the pain, and we can allow it, there’s no fighting and no denial, just the acceptance that all things pass, but our destiny is assured—and, so too, our mandate for growth.
Allowing the presence of such anxieties is not a sadistic practice, but we do find room to accommodate them, however we’re feeling. God is Present in all this, not entirely happy with the storm, but the Lord is comforted that we can subsist through it.
No Small Comfort
To think these ways, by acceding to the storms, giving them passage, and holding them there, there’s peace. But such a peace can only be maximised when we understand that our gain—in becoming more Christlike—is no short order of benefit.
We’re actually being repaid gold for soot; the material of eternity for the memory of temporal grief. We cannot truly contrast these. What stands at the end of our lives compels us, upon reflective recollection, to be in awe of God. We have priceless jewels for common muck.
It’s no small comfort to endure for what we are about to receive.
There’s one way through a spiritual and emotional storm that beats all others; it’s in clinging to the purpose of all pain—that which sits a little distance off. We’re being refined, if we’ll allow, and one day, all we endured here will be eternally worth it.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.