Thursday, April 12, 2012

In all circumstances

I don't know how many of you are currently enjoying the book Jesus Calling, which is a daily devotional book, written from the perspective of God talking to us.  If not, I'd highly recommend it.  If so, you'll be familiar with this part of today's passage:

"You trust Me when things go well, when you see Me working on your 
behalf.  This type of trust flows readily within you, requiring no exertion
of your will.  When things go wrong, your trust-flow slows down and solidifies.
You are forced to choose between trusting Me intentionally or rebelling:
resenting My ways with you.  This choice constitutes a fork in the road.  
Stay on the path of Life with Me, enjoying my Presence.  Choose
to trust Me in all circumstances."

This really hit home with me, because the Latin Americans we're around are teaching me great lessons about this very theme.  An excellent habit I've noticed they practice is not dichotomizing every event of their lives into either 'good' or 'bad' categories.  Whereas our tendency might be to call something a "blessing" or a "curse," depending on how much trouble or pain it brings us, our friends here are more likely to view trials as blessings, because of what God might be teaching them through it.  (And they really value that Divine lesson.)
"Blessings," in my mind, have really only ever been those things (usually material) that bring me happiness, ease, comfort, or some kind of success.  When I hear someone pray, "God, thank you for all you've blessed us with," my mind does not envision the trials of life...the illnesses, the stress-filled days, the painful moments... 
For the most part, the only thing I think about during a hard time is, "When will it end?!"  I don't want it to last any longer than necessary, and I don't actively seek after the ways God might be trying to mold me and shape me in the midst of those circumstances.
I want to have more appreciation for the lessons that God is trying to teach me in difficult times. And really, what it probably comes down to is trust.  
Do I trust God when my life seems awful, just like I do when it seems great?  
And will I choose to trust God's love for me no matter the circumstances?