James 1:3 NLT
For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
When life is interrupted with a significant but unanticipated event, we can be rocked to our core. Nothing prepares us for such disorientation. As Katey and I processed her diagnosis with MS, we lost touch with all normality. All we observed around us felt unreal; while within me, a host of nameless emotions stirred. I wear my heart on my sleeve, so confusion visibly affected my behaviour which moved beyond both my control and life experience to date.
Consequently, I started an unexpected journey provoked by an unwelcome event. I rapidly lost sight of how to calibrate my life. God was somewhere in the mix, yet quite where, I did not know. I was in free fall and in panic I blindly hit out at friend and foe alike. This was the context for the learning which ultimately yielded that steadfast quality James describes.
While the testing of my faith eventually crafted a steadfastness within which I’d never known before, I believed at times I was losing my sanity. I feared I might do damage to others, if not myself. Never had I experienced such anger, felt so abandoned and hard done by. I became entirely defined by my circumstances and lost all bearing. My journey was about me, and about my survival and desire to be rid of this pain.
There was no miracle cure. As friends placed a safe distance between themselves and me, which I resented deeply and added to my angry aloneness, I was left to wrestle with my own reality. Slowly, so very slowly, I began to search for God at the heart of my own white-hot discomfort. As with Elijah, I eventually heard that still, small voice. Initially I focused upon it only because I wanted to direct all my resentment and anger at God. However, he was cool with that. And eventually, like Elijah, I fell asleep in confused exhaustion and so began my road back towards God, and the laying of deeper foundations of steadfast reliability.
QUESTION: How do you feel about your present circumstances?
PRAYER: Thank you, Father, that you always reach out to me. You alone are my hope and sure foundation.