"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
John 16:33 (NIV)
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
James 1:2-4 NIV
Cognitively I understand the principle of preparation and sanctification through trial. However, that does not reduce trial’s distaste and unwelcomed presence.
I wish things were not always such a struggle and that effort wasn’t always required for the slightest progress.
I wish that virtue was automatically bestowed upon request and "work" was a thing of pure joy, absent of frustrations, challenges, impediments, and difficult relationships to navigate.
I wish that there was a definite end to trial within a lifetime, a threshold crossed after a certain volume of striving.
I wish that material gain was unnecessary to secure the future and that provision was triggered by a person’s step forward.
I wish there weren’t unmoaned griefs ahead, thunderstorms of crisis and sudden disaster unexpectedly visiting the sojourning soul…
Even with your promise of security and assurance, the absence of turmoil ahead is a more comforting impossibility.
Your pronouncements echo sad inevitability wrapped in hopeful expectation.
Your words communicate dissatisfaction with the present state of affairs but a revelation of confidence’s foundation.
You don’t obfuscate trouble but prepare my heart to embrace its reality and sure end.
You help me balance between current imperfection and perfection in eternity by helping me to accept the paradox of trouble, the necessity of preparation.
In a world of trouble, I can ask for no more.
Jesus, thank you.