Against the Flow

devotionals onlineby John Fischer

When everything is coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.”

Not necessarily.

I got this from one of those joke pages flying around the Internet. Actually, having everything coming at you may not necessarily mean you’re in the wrong lane when it comes to personal growth. I would go as far as to suggest that everything going your way is probably a condition to be less trusted than feeling like you’re running into oncoming traffic.

I just don’t see God as doling out ease and contentment. His business lies more in the areas of refining and shaping us to conform more to the image of Christ, and none of that comes easy. Scripture indicates that the process by which this comes about includes, among other things, trials (James 1:2-3), suffering (Romans 5:3-4), discipline (Hebrews 12:7), and a growing sense of our own mortality (2 Corinthians 5:4-5).

In one illustration, Paul uses the metaphor of an earthen vessel to explain our human condition and how God uses us (2 Corinthians 4:7). To think about yourself as an earthen vessel, like a mug of pottery being dirtied and cast about, is to get an accurate picture of what we can expect in this life.

Just look at the verses that immediately follow this one. “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body” (2 Corinthians 4:8-11).

Which is to say that when everything seems to be coming at you (trials, hardship, testing times) maybe you are in the right lane after all.

Besides, isn’t it more exciting having everything come at you? It is for this reason that I always jog into oncoming traffic, because I like to know where the cars are. If someone starts drifting towards me, I figure I have at least a split second to jump out of the way. That’s definitely better than the constant thought of someone coming up behind me, fishing for a cell phone, and drifting over onto the shoulder, about to turn me into a hood ornament, and I would never know what hit me. That’s what can happen when you go with the flow.

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