Do you remember the movie "Click"? Did you see it? Adam Sandler stumbles upon a remote control to fast forward through the tough times in his life. He receives a warning though, he can't go backward once he has gone ahead. Only one direction. Fight with wife? Click. Money problems? Click. Trouble at work? Click. At first he fast forwards only briefly, little snippets of time here and there. Eventually, though, as he discovers the ease of avoiding the stress, he takes larger chunks of time. Half of his kid's life. Click. Messy divorce. Click. As he gets near the end of his life, he realizes something. He missed a good deal of it. Avoiding. Me? I will do almost anything to avoid pain!!! Ask my dentist. He has an A.P.B. out for me even now. : ) ... That doesn't seem to phase the Lord. He has been weeding out people and things in my life like a gardener. Weeding out bad thinking and selfish character traits that I hold onto like crazed women at a yard sale. He carefully prunes and shapes and turns up the heat. At some points, I want to run in the other direction. and try to. : D. All the while the process is slowly edging on, I fuss, caterwaul, dodge, and grimace. There's a slip of paper that I have taped to my desk here at the house- the author is unknown, but I think it's worth tatooing to my forehead:
"Strength doesn't come from winning. Your struggles develop your strength. When you go through hardship and decide not to surrender, that is strength."
As awesome as that is, it's not quite the whole picture. Surrender is the key. Not to the trial, but the One who is working through the trial. Working in me to produce the traits He wants to. Working in and through me to cause me to rely on nothing or no one but Him. As I embrace the pain, it turns color. It transforms from the grey mundane of here and now to the bright golden future! I see more of Him in me these days. More patience, more self control, more gentleness. Less envy, less anger, and a whole lot less discontent.
So, next time you see yourself in a pickle, broiling in traffic, offended in the supermarket line, or at the wrong end of a phone call, try asking yourself- what color am I turning? : )
Have a great week!