Greatness is forged in adversity and the only substance it cares about is character. Adversity purifies character. It makes it shine. This is the development of Christ likeness. We too often find ourselves in the “prosperity gospel.” It is a false notion that if things are going well, then God must be pleased. Life isn’t saved and easy, it’s saved and hard.
We too often forget there are brothers and sisters in Christ who daily wonder if today is the day they may earn the martyr’s crown. Are they any less godly from the persecution they endure? No. Nor are they any better. God developed a plan for us all. Like art, some of our lives are tragedy, others drama, action, mystery, and some comedy.
We too often forget that here is not our home.
All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God ; for He has prepared a city for them. ~Hebrews 11:13-16
When we meditate on stories of triumph or sacrifice we see heroes. They are not perfect people. They often have great flaws. God is in the process of shaping us. Just as He shaped them. In each of these stories we see the glimmer of the image of God. As God brings out that spark He as well as we look to the day when all things are made new.
I would suppose it is much easier to write this than to live it. I’m sure it’s much more engaging to read about it then to be in it. Perhaps we too often shy away from it. The pleasantness of here can cloud the future far greater than any discomfort can. This may not make sense, but life in a fallen world doesn’t. We look to the day when all things are new.
There are no silver bullets, no perfect formula’s, no quintessential programs. There is work, study and prayer. Such should result in a growing love for God and a passionate desire to love people. Often living godly in daily life and building opportunities to share the Gospel may seem unsexy, but there is no getting around work. We all want bling, but I find it ironic that it was in a gentle breeze that God’s presence was made known to Elijah.
There is a funny thing I’ve found about heroes. While we fawn over their stories- they are often reluctant to share them and are glad that it is over, wishing none to go through it. Still, character is evident in adversity and shows a pure product. One day the glimmer will shine brightest when we are in the City God made for us. That City will be home.
If you thirst for heaven, then its time to man up. When adversity hits you will see how far He has brought you and how far you have yet to go. Home is soon, but not yet.