“If you find God with ease, perhaps it is not God you have found.”
— Thomas Merton
Although I have not been through anything uncommon to man, I have seen some trauma in my life. And on bad days, usually in church, I look around and think, "These people have no idea what it's like to be broken. They sing songs about loving God and having faith when they don't know pain."
This is unfair on a couple of levels. First of all, I don't know everyone's story. Who am I to say what they have and haven't been through.
Secondly, I had an epiphany a few weeks ago. I thought to myself, "what if their trial is having an easy life? What if the obstacle of their life and faith is not having to struggle for it?"
My faith has been purified and refined (and will continued to be) through struggle. I'm an idolater at heart, and it is always tempting for me to put my faith in things more tangible than God. Whether it's my friends, my roots, my home, my education, my health, my ethics, my career... at some point I have been broken in each of those issues and have been forced to see that they aren't my Savior... they aren't going to be unwaveringly faithful to me.
Although I certainly would have never asked for some of the trials I've seen, I'm grateful for the opportunity to be broken in the hands of the Master then reconstructed in his design.
I think it's natural instinct to want to protect ourselves and look out for number one, but maybe we should start living with a little more reckless abandon in order for God to use those experiences to shape us.