My mother, God rest her soul, I honestly believe became in some way ‘addicted’ to the turmoil. Please…don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying she wanted it to be that way ‘consciously’. But sometimes, when you have known a way for a long enough time…even when that way is difficult and bad…it somehow becomes preferable to the ‘unknown’…or something. I don’t really know how to explain it. But I know it happens, because I have experienced it too, though not exactly in the same way I think Mom did.
For me, my life was frequently full of adversity through the years…frequently some sort of drama going on. And it was the times when there was no drama when I would tend to fall into a depression, interestingly. As long as I had some adrenaline rush in whatever the difficult circumstances were, I thrived in a way. Strange? Yeah! I think it’s definitely strange! Yet it’s not all that uncommon either, I don’t think. I certainly think there are a lot of people who become addicted to abusive relationships like my mother, or stressful situations like myself, etc.
Last night I posted this devotional from yesterday’s “My Utmost for His Highest”. The Habit of Enjoying Adversity
So what IS that Oswald Chambers devotional saying? Are we supposed to want adversity? I look at this sentence that was toward the end of that devotional:
“It is one thing to choose adversity, and quite another to enter into adversity through the orchestrating of our circumstances by God’s sovereignty. And if God puts you into adversity, He is adequately sufficient to “supply all your need” (Philippians 4:19).”
So then, it’s not saying we should seek out some martyr’s life just for the sake of the adversity. I think it’s saying that if that’s what we have before us, to handle it with as much joy and grace and strength through Jesus Christ in us, as we have in the absence of the adversity. I think it’s saying, no matter what our circumstances, that Jesus should shine through us. It’s saying that when we’re in the throws of some difficult circumstance, while we may still pray for God to deliver us from it, I think…meanwhile, we don’t wallow in self-pity and wear our misery like some sort of badge. Instead…wear Jesus like a badge that shines from the inside, through it all!
Lord, help me to not hang my head in misery through the trials in my life. Help me to bow my head in thanks to you…through whatever circumstances I have…good or bad…and to let my light shine through it all. Amen.