This past week was a difficult one for me. It felt like every underlying worry came to the surface all at once. Worries about my business, some upcoming changes, the expectancy of our next child.
Every issue was exacerbated. Each tiny problem magnified to monumental dilemma.
Overwhelm set in and admittedly, knocked me off my routine.
The worst part – this is the time when the routine is needed most. I noticed I was skipping grace, missing my morning reading routine, and dedicating less time to my prayer practice. I was consumed by worry. Distracted. Disconnected.
Why is it, when our good habits are needed the most they are the hardest to maintain?
I believe we are given opportunities to strengthen our spirit. While enduring suffering, it’s hard to have the foresight that leads to acceptance. “This is for a greater good!” – an infrequently uttered phrase in the face of discomfort. However, staying faithful in difficult times is a necessity to endure them.
Reading through the story of Joseph was a great reminder of this. Here’s a brief and paraphrased summary: Joseph believes he’s destined for greatness but at a young age is left for dead by his brothers. He’s captured, brought into slavery, gains enough respect to have a position of power but, quickly falls when he’s falsely accused of rape, thrown in prison, and is virtually forgotten until the age of 30. He’s finally elevated to the position of governor in Egypt. Reconnects with his family and is able to spare them from harsh famine.
Much can be drawn from this (God’s perfect plan for example). But, the most striking thing about Joseph’s story is his ability to remain faithful throughout. Amidst all the hardship, he didn’t forget God’s promise. He did not lose faith.
Our current struggles may get worse before they get better. They may last a very long time. Ultimately, they will pass and we must remain faithful always.
‘Great faith is a product of great fights. Great testimonies are the outcome of great tests. Great triumphs can only come out of great trials.’ Smith Wigglesworth