When you hit rock bottom, then you have located a foundation on which to build. Can you think of tragedy that way? Let’s call it the “bumper sticker of the week”: Often, the biggest favor God does is to level the playing field.
Of course, that often means tearing things down — whether individually or as a society. God’s a builder and sometimes that involves demolition. What He tears down — or wants us to tear down — is our evil, which can be in the way of our obsessions, our lusts, and especially our selfishness. Ego.
Most of the time when God has to clean house, it’s because our pride has so badly messed things up (even our view of religion) that rubble has piled up around us.
We get blinded and we get attached to the rubble. We think it’s concrete, when it is really old cardboard. And we let it rise on all sides: ambition, over-competitiveness, things that always have an “I” in front of them.
In other cases, it’s not so much that we have done anything wrong but that God is trying to clear the way for our expansion and development.
Whatever the case, when “devastation” comes, we should always look upon it as an opportunity. A widow of 9/11, Cheryl McGuinness, whose husband was the pilot of one of the planes that hit the Trade Center, says she wants other people to realize that no matter what disasters or pain occur in life — “no matter how horrific they can be” — those tragedies (or simple inconveniences) can be overcome by “having a foundation that we can draw on in times of trial.”
Even illness and accidents have their place. They put things in sudden perspective. As John Paul once wrote, illumination comes from purgation.
So many times in life, we just can’t seem to reach holiness without God sweeping everything aside. Major upheavals in our health, families, or careers are often enough to place things in a new and healthier perspective. It’s amazing how quickly the world we hold so dear can evaporate! When things collapse (jobs, education, bank accounts), we discover how fleeting they were to begin with.
It’s God Who is always there — He is the only permanence — and what He is trying to show us is that we should cling to Him and that we will be restless until we rest on His foundation. He never said life would be easy, just worth it!
Persistence and even joy in the face of trial (especially surrender to His Will) paves the road to the miraculous.
“Anytime I have ever stressed about not having enough money to pay the bills, the situation gets worse,” noted an e-mailer named Julie. “The more I try to control it, the less control I have. The very instant I give it all to God and bless and bless and bless the financial situation, however grim, the money flows in ways that truly do not seem physically possible.”
There’s a woman who receives words of knowledge and quoted the Lord as once “telling” her, “You will not find peace by engaging in excessive planning: attempting to control what will happen to you in the future. That is a commonly practiced form of unbelief. When your mind spins with multiple plans, Peace may sometimes seem to be within your grasp; yet it always eludes you. Just when you think you have prepared for all possibilities, something unexpected pops up and throws things into confusion.
“I did not design the human mind to figure out the future. That is beyond your capability. I crafted your mind for continual communication with Me. Bring Me all your needs, your hopes and fears. Commit everything into My care. Turn from the path of planning to the path of Peace.”
When we do that, often the results are far better than what we requested or expected. Anytime God tears something down, He is giving us the opportunity to build something better.
See His Hand in everything and it is easier to put everything into those awesome Hands and in the flow of His Creation.
In that flow, anything good is possible.
[resources: inspirational books]