The other morning I wept through breakfast with a businessman who has been whiplashed into financial oblivion in a “down economy” through circumstances beyond his control. Highly capable in his field of expertise, he has chosen to tough it out and pay off his creditors rather than declare bankruptcy and walk away from debt.
Another friend who recently lost his wife through a sudden, devastating attack of cancer, is now left to raise their two young boys.
And a third, who was falsely accused of sexual incest, has endured years of litigation, coupled with unimaginable financial and emotional stress; only to be vindicated by the eventual recantation of his accuser.
Today, each of these men exhibit an uncommon spiritual depth and intimacy with Christ, unknown to them prior to their “crucible” experience.
It was C. S. Lewis who observed that “God whispers to us in our pleasure, but shouts to us in our pain.” Someone has sagely noted that “God rarely uses a man greatly until He hurts him deeply“ — including His own Son.
Before his devastating losses, Job was indeed a righteous man (1:1-5), but it was only after the agony of his “dark night of the soul” that he made the greatest journey of his life: The 18 inches from his head to his heart:
“My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.” (Job 42:5)
So, where are you today? Cruising above the circumstances of life in blissful affluence and good health?
Or do you find yourself in the crucible of adversity through a state of affairs allowed or orchestrated by our loving Heavenly Father who cares infinitely more about the development of your character than in the comfort often afforded through easy circumstances?
“Now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Peter 1:6, 7)
QUESTION: If you are in the middle of a “crucible” experience, are you choosing to praise and thank Him for the wonder He is working in your soul?