Monday, July 12, 2010

Hope in the Furnace of Humiliation

“Accept whatever befalls you, and in times of humiliation be patient. For gold is tested in the fire, and those found acceptable, in the furnace of humiliation.”

~Ecclesiasticus 2:4-5.

It is a biblical irony of the wisdom-set to find the above situation a comfort; to be found patiently bearing.

We all get our opportunities. However humbling life happens to be, we are deeply humiliated occasionally through it, and perhaps it happens to us hundreds of times over the lifespan.

A Greater Comfort

It is a great message, one containing much hope, that we’re ever closer to the Lord in our bearing-up during that furnace-of-a-time.

It is an even a greater comfort for us to know that during these times it is better to do nothing and simply accept it humbly—whatever is occurring—not stressing or fretting unnecessarily, for this will only lead to anger (Ps. 37:8), bewilderment and exhaustion.

This is What ‘Faith’ Looks Like

To achieve this we’re affording grand and healthy globules of faith for ourselves; space to consider what might distantly be from the safety of a staid place. We don’t see it and we hardly believe; we try not to see and to tempt ourselves to hope.

And that’s okay—our expectations flagging. Expectation is not so important right now, not so much as survival is. Finding the coolest part of the furnace to endure this fiery time right now—be it an hour, a day, a year—that’s the key. All energy is foisted to that goal and that goal alone. And that’s okay as it won’t be like this forever.

And we come back down now to patience.

The Patient Will Endure in Their Wisdom

Isn’t it a ridiculously delirious thought, in a happy sort of way, that the things truly of God are often found right where we need them; in our torment, struggle, fear and pain?

The patient will know God and the wisdom of things eternal to get them through.

A ‘Stone of Help’

And once there, this thoroughly entrancing place where God visited us will become an Ebenezer for the future—a memory stone of the Presence of the Lord and his bearing for us. In this, God is our Stone of Help.

It will be a place we will inevitably want to go back to—our triumph in trial from the view of crystal-clear hindsight.

These very places end up being the defining of us.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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