Life is full of ups and downs, but sometimes long periods of time go by where nothing much seems to happen. It’s easy to fall into a sense of complacency. But then, when something finally comes along that challenges us, we may find ourselves floundering. What then?
When life puts us to the test, we want to shine, to pass with flying colors. This proverb can sound like a condemnation, pointing out that failure is the result of “small strength”, but it sparked a series of thoughts that I want to share with you over the coming weeks.
Days of adversity will come, and we can be prepared for them.
If you knew that you’d be running a marathon in six months, what would you do to prepare for that? If you knew that you would need to climb a rope over a 20-foot wall, how would you strengthen your body so you would succeed?
Pretending that the test isn’t going to be difficult won’t make it easier. Ignoring it until the day it actually arrives will not bring success.
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. - 1 Peter 4:12 (NIV)
Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. - Jesus, in John 16:33 (NLT)
We shouldn’t live in fear of the future, but if we want to do well when challenges come, we should plan for them. God never deliberately sets us up for failure (James 1:13), and if we pay attention to His lead, He will prepare us to succeed. Looking back over my life, I see time and again where He gave me chances to practice something or prepare for something that I didn’t know was coming.
TAKING IT TO HEART: What has God been nudging you about that you may be ignoring?
A change of diet, a call to spend time in prayer and study, a prompting to call a friend? These little things may not seem like much, but nothing He does is meaningless, and sometimes the stakes are higher than we know.