“Troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and 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 5:3b-5 (Msg)
REVERSALS are the role of a life that sees us blessed most when we seem most cursed – provided we respond the right way, keep the faith, and put one foot in front of the other, trusting God throughout.
When we imagine life as a test, and that each little juncture of life is a test all its very own, we begin to sense an opportunity to try a new approach at life.
Seldom if ever before have we realised the potential to jettison that which we’ve always held dear – to claim something truly priceless. Our security has come from assets and acquisitions and acuities of identity that have promised much, but in reality have delivered precious little.
Sure, life went well for a time, but there is still too little meaning; too little satisfaction; and, too little payback for the pain involved. Life always seems rosy for a while as we subsist on the fruits of our labour. But eventually all things turn sour, at least for a time.
The Holy Spirit holds a power that few actually tap into. The blind person – for a good instance, the Atheist – cannot conceive of a power they cannot touch. It defies their understanding of truth; there is no science they can trust. So they cannot partake of a power that flips the world’s understanding upside down.
When life has turned south, and we find we have no choice but to rely on God, we do so and we learn a great deal about life, its fickle nature, and about ourselves – against our will for a time.
But it is necessary that we learn the hard way sometimes. For so many of us we have this gentle and abiding resistance to the things that are actually good for us – the things of God.
The key thing to remember about life is this. Sometimes it’s the worst things that happen to us that turn out to be the gateway to truths we never anticipated we’d know. Out of despair there is hope, and somehow that hope is the realisation of life we always hoped we’d find out.
Trusting the Holy Spirit in triumph and trouble is both wisdom and faith. We are fools to think we don’t need God. When we do trust the Holy Spirit, especially in trouble, we learn something invaluable about life; when we give up the world, God gives us everything we could never previously have.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.