“It takes a tremendous amount of discipline to live the noble life of a disciple of Jesus in actual things.” Oswald Chambers
So true. Difficulties and trials are expected when we have extirpated ourselves from our comfort zone and have traveled across the world to find ourselves immersed in all things foreign. When we experience difficulties while outside of my control zone, we find that it is much easier to constantly draw on his power. We are prepared for it.
Then we come back to our normal existence. Our situations are perfectly orchestrated in the way we find that is most comfortable. Therefore, if anything is off kilter or difficult, something is wrong with our picture! We tighten our grip on the control stick of our lives in order to get everything under control (ourselves) so that we can then rest in him once more.
The clinging, which happens overseas or in any situation where we find ourselves in a foreign place for a lengthy amount of time, should happen here. It should happen in our offices and in our households and in our churches. Bring on the difficulties, Lord. We will tackle them like warriors, drawing on your power for the battle. If I find myself rattled by my own difficulties, this is indicative that there is something wrong with what I am holding onto for security. It moves me that he uses specific situations to draw me to himself. He will teach us to cling to him. Oh the sweet truth that He will not allow any child of his to rest until they are completely resting in his power, his love, and his peace. He will convict and push and prod until we let go :)
When I let go, I find that it is actually sweet (delightful even) to walk with him through hard and dark places. How can it be? Such peace and joy CAN be relished even during trials. Especially during trials.
“the Christian God came to earth to deliberately put himself on the hook of human suffering. In Jesus Christ, God experienced the greatest depths of pain. Therefore, though Christianity does not provide the reason for each experience of pain, it provides deep resources for actually facing suffering with hope and courage rather than bitterness and despair.” Tim Keller
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)