Adversity, the uninvited guest arrives delivering unsolicited lessons packaged in pain
While living overseas in South America, for most of our lives, we learned that having a home in town meant you could count on receiving uninvited guests without warning or announcement. Most of the time we were glad to see them. However, their favorite arrival time seemed to often fall within 30 minutes of meals. We suspected that their fondness for our friendship was linked to their appreciation of my wife’s cooking.
In this culture, visitors usually call before they come to visit. Over time, as acquaintances turn to close friends, protocol is laid aside and forgotten. The unannounced visit of a friend becomes a welcome interruption.
Adversity is the great interruptor. He comes at the most inconvenient times, to tax our patience, question our resolve, challenge our faith and strain even the closest of relationships.
Adversity may serve a purpose
Have you considered the possibility that adversity may serve a meaningful purpose? Life has shown me that when trouble knocks it acts much like a teabag released in a cup of hot water. The essence of the sachet comes oozing out on contact with the heat. Just like the tea bag, when we come in contact with calamity it releases whatever substance is inside the rooms of our heart. In reality, adversity identifies the cracks in our character, the flaws in our behavior and reveals our self reliance, and skewed priorities.
In short, adversity helps us face ourselves and the need to more fully rely on God’s grace for our day-to-day lives. When trouble comes knocking we can shout – STAY OUT! But it will be to no avail.
But when it does, sooner or later we’ll discover we need to cry out for more than just pain relief. We’ll need to plead God’s Spirit to fill the walls of our room with His peace, His inner calm and His grace so as to manifest in words and actions that we trust God in the midst of hardship, as well as out of it.
Yes, while adversity is still the uninvited guest, he does leave eventually. Hopefully when he departs we will have unwrapped the lesson he came to teach, and adapted the changes to our very being.
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