“Now you must endure various trials. Even gold passes through the refiner’s fire, and more precious than perishable gold is faith which has stood the test. These trials come so that your faith may prove itself worthy of all praise, glory and honor, when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
1 Peter 1:6-7
There is an old story about a violin maker who searched all his life for wood from which he might fashion the finest instruments. Finally he came across the wood he was searching for. It was taken from trees at the timberline, the last stand of trees just as the wooded mountainside gave way to craggy rocks that lead to the summit. The winds blew so steadily and hard that the bark could barely grow. All the branches pointed in the same direction. The trees were spread low above the ground, anchored firmly. From these sturdy trees he was able to make instruments of unusual beauty and power and tone.
Like those trees, you and I face the hard driving winds of adversity Trouble is everywhere. We live in a broken world. This means that the tremors of trouble will always come. It will stay that way until God puts the pieces together again and builds a new one. He promised he would, and new heaven, too.
Today we are in a time of extreme trouble. Forces at work in the world have twisted life out of shape and the world is spinning out of control. I feel those forces within and without and I know you do also.
The first thing to do when trouble hits is to assert the sufficiency of faith. The trials we face can sweep away the debris and clutter of our lives in such a way that we experience anew the rock-solid promise of baptism – the assurance and certainty of God’s promises in Jesus Christ.
Like the trees on the mountain, we are made strong not by the calming breezes and blue skies, but by the hard driving winds of adversity. We may be brought to our knees, bent low to the point of being helpless, but in Jesus Christ we are never broken or uprooted. The gnarled wood of our weakness and sin becomes that instrument of beauty through which God plays the exquisite music of faith.
“May the peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in
Christ Jesus our Lord.”