Friday, February 25, 2011

‘Dancing’ Despite the Storms

Recently we decided to spruce up our master bathroom, removing old wallpaper, replaced by a fresh coat of paint. Among the new accessories is a picture bearing the motto, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

I can’t think of a better sentiment for coping with everyday life. “Storms” are inevitable, whether they involve health issues, marriage and family challenges, financial difficulties, career conflicts, cars and appliances that break down at inopportune times. The reality is not if we are going to encounter adversity in various forms, but when.

We live in a pain-avoidance society. If you have a twinge, take a Tylenol, an aspirin, or something stronger. Drugs and alcohol are commonly used by people seeking to become oblivious to the storms swirling around them. But all too often, once the Band-aid is removed, or the pain-killer wears off, the problems persist.

No amount of legislation can end them. No amount of money can buy carefree, pain-free living. So if we’re stuck with storms, what can we do? Learn to dance in the rain.

The Bible offers curious advice regarding what it terms “trials” and “tribulations”: “…we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint, because God has poured out his love into our hearts…” (Romans 5:3-5).

In case we overlook that passage, similar thoughts are found in James 1:2-4, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Rejoice? Consider it “pure joy” when we encounter the trials and tribulations of life? That’s hard to do, without question – unless we embrace the promise from the Scriptures that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). If we truly believe that, then yes, we can learn to dance in the rain!

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