For some reason the other day, from the far reaches of my mind came an old little clapping/story we used to do in my Girl Scout days. It’s called, “Let’s Go on a Bear Hunt,” and the part that kept coming to my mind was, “Can’t go over it…can’t go under it…can’t go around it…gotta go through it.”
I believe we’re all “going through” something these days.
There is no doubt in my mind that God is always good, however, the situations and circumstances I’m in the midst of may not be. Yet, I know He’s working them for good. (Rom. 8:28) And here lies a key word — working.
Paul reminds us in Phil. 2:12 to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” Me? Me do the work? I thought that’s why I had a savior, so Jesus could save me from all that work!
If we look into the Word, salvation is a free gift. (Rom. 6:23) However, sanctification, or the maturing process, takes work. A lot of it. In the first few verses of James chapter one we’re shown what it takes to mature: trials of many kinds, the testing of our faith, and perseverance. Then he tells us to count it all joy when all these things happen.
What? I just want to go over, under, or around everything hard and somehow become mature. I don’t want to go through! (Just being honest here, dear reader.) If I want to loose weight, it’s hard to work at it. If I loose my job or need finances, I have to work to find a provision. If I’m in the middle of a divorce, or lost a loved one, or facing serious health issues, I have to deal with these issues, (though I prefer stuffing the emotions down or totally ignoring them, which is actually denial). It really is hard work to process life — to go through these things.
But we have a choice. We can choose to process our issues and play a part in our own life — which leads to growth and maturity, or just allow life to happen to us — which causes us to play the victim and have childish pity parties for ourselves.
The good news is that God is with us through everything. E-ver-y-thing!! When painful or challenging things occur, sometimes God may take us over, under, or around them. But if we have to go through them, we’re never alone. We may need counseling, we may need help from others, we may have difficult decisions to make, but we can make it through with His grace.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did. Daniel did. David did. The Israelites did. Mary and Joseph did. Paul did. Look at all the diverse issues these people got through. And so will you!