God sends the stormy wind of his providential and painful visitations, to sweep away the clouds and cause the hidden luminary to shine forth. ~ John Angell James, Benefits of Affliction
Every day I have a choice – to choose despair or delight, grumbling or gratitude, pugnaciousness or peace – despite my circumstances.
And honestly? I don’t always choose well.
I’m anxious to make my way out to the edge of the pasture where the patch of black-eyed susans reach for the sun, but it may as well be at the end of a rainbow.
I’m not going to make it and I’m frustrated and angry and even bitter. Why did you give me a camera and then RA? I grumble.
I sit down right where my legs and lungs give out in the middle of the pasture. When I look up, the clouds of frustration are swept away at the hidden luminary before me, as Great Southern Whites with their blue-tipped antennae dance in a field of flax.
Grumbling turns to gratitude at the grace that was given in my sorry condition and at what I could not see when my heart was set on black-eyed susans at the end of the rainbow.
Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition. ~ Jeremiah Burroughs
And you, dear friends? When has affliction been grace for you?