Thursday, September 27, 2007

Quiet thoughts

Sometimes I want to scream and pull my hair out.

Tonight is not one of those times.

Tonight is, instead, one of the times when I sigh quietly, glance a little wearily toward heaven and wonder why God has ordained this season as He has.

It is not a bad season; indeed in many regards it is a very good season. But it has its difficulties, and at the moment they tire me.

"Count it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various kinds of trials and temptations, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. And let patience have its perfect work in you, that you may be whole and complete, lacking nothing." (James 1:4-5)

Sometimes it's the little trials that are the hardest to walk through. The subtle ones that aren't really that big of a deal - but they don't go away, and thus slowly wear on you. We have a tendency to remember James' words when we're in massive trials that strain our faith in terrible ways. But I think they're at least as applicable in these smaller ones that simply go on. I do not think it was for nothing that James wrote of the trials' producing patience (some translations say "perseverance" or "steadfastness"), rather than simply courage or faith. We must endure.

It is in the endurance of the "little" trials that simply go on, in the faithfulness in the little things, in the continuing during the rote events of our day-to-day existence that God draws us truly close to Him.

We gain glimpses of His splendor and His holiness and His glory in brilliant flashes of inspiration: those moments where the clouds are torn away for an instant and we see with clarity the depth and breadth of His nature, before they are swiftly veiled again. But it is in the walking through the cloudy days, when we cannot see, that His character becomes real in our lives: not merely a vision but a transformation.

And so...

And so I carry on, praying that the testing of my faith will produce patience. Praying that this season will be no longer than it has to be. Praying that God will bring it to a close in a way that brings Him glory, that fills my heart with worship. Resting confident in the knowledge that He will do precisely that.

And so I softly sing as I head towards bed:
In Christ alone, my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My comforter, my all in all
Here in the love of Christ I stand...

- Chris

1 comment:

  1. Yes, Chris. When the adrenaline isn't pumping through our systems ... when the life grinds from one day to the next ... when our vision is consistantly restricted ... when we're simply living the life set before us ... the little trials are like a bunch of little fish scurrying for that one piece of bread thrown into the pond ... lots of little bites on one thing. There is no stage; there is nothing to draw attention to you or your circumstances. If there is anyone watching, we do not know it. And this, this is where character is birthed ... where it's defined ... where it either is, or it is not ... when it's just you and God ... living thorugh the grind of one day at a time ... and you discover who you really are ... and whose you really are.


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