We all feel it. Life is stressful these days. Even as we seek to give ourselves to the wonderful work of serving others, it often involves chaos, weariness, and the feeling of merely getting by.
If you’re like me, you may have occasional moments where you wonder where the good is. The struggles and the stress seem so incredibly loud. There is more to do. More work. Less hands. Less time. It doesn’t add up. In our challenging times, we can wonder where the good is.
I recently had a 15 minute window in between work appointments. In those moments, I read two things that inspired me. One was a report with a “praise God” moment from our chaplain team. The other was a reflection on the life and ministry of an old friend.
My circumstances didn’t change. The number of stressors in my life wasn’t lowered, but I had found the good. As I was considering this, it occurred to me that diamonds aren’t found in common places, but in the heart of the earth, amidst darkness, dust, danger and tons of pressure. Discovering good and beauty requires our diligent effort. Many times, the good we are searching for is found within our great challenges, not apart from them.
We are not far from the holiday season. God’s greatest gift was found in a smelly stable during an inconvenient census under the thumb of the Roman Empire. About 30 years later, the greatest expression of sacrifice and forgiveness humanity has known wasn’t found in a beautiful place, but in a place of execution, at the cross of Calvary.
Let’s not seek escape from our challenges. Let’s pray for open eyes and open hearts, to search and discern what good gifts God is giving to us, even in the very midst of our difficulties today.
by Larry Petry, Senior Chaplain