Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fiery Trials

There have been some very hard things happening around me. I'm not happy about it. People I adore have suffered losses that seem impossible to bear. I hate being reminded of the fragility of our lives and how in an instant, life shifts to a new, harder normal.

I found this scripture this week, and it struck me. Somehow I don't think I've ever paid attention to it or maybe even read it before now. I love it. I love its gentle tone and its wisdom and even the tiny bit of humor in it.

1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.

Come on, isn't this the total truth? If we aren't just laid out on the floor by enormously terrible things, don't we just shake our heads sometimes and say, "Really, life? You're doing THIS? No way. It's just not right." It always feels strange. It almost always feels more fiery than tolerable.

I am going to send y'all back to my darling friend Megan's blog. I hate that there are so many struggles in her life. But I love that she teaches me constantly. And I think she could tell God that some of her trials are indeed strange. Her latest post reminds me of the things I have learned and am learning, and by golly, NEED TO LEARN STILL. I found this quote recently and it reminded me of that great C.S. Lewis quote about God building a palace out of our little cottage.

For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn't understand growth, it would look like complete destruction. -Cynthia Occelli

Even with the reminder that our fiery trials are to be expected, and sometimes necessary for our growth, my heart is still broken. My soul grieves. I don't understand all things. Or many things. But I know that love makes terribleness more bearable. And I know that the times when the world slows down to force us to pay attention to each other in our most distressed circumstances become holy. There are blessings in tragedies, and those blessings are so often the people who love us, and care for us, and hold us up when we can't hold ourselves up.