I just walked into the kitchen. The sink (both sides!) was full and overflowing with dirty dishes. Now, I don't mind loading the dishwasher; it's kind of fun to put all that yuckiness in there and know that it'll come back out sparkling.
But the dishwasher is already full. Clean and full and waiting to be emptied. That's the girls' job. So I holler to them, "Girls, come empty the dishwasher so that I can fill it up again."
(Which they are now doing)
As you all know, this is a time of trouble for us. My husband has been told he doesn't have a job anymore, after the end of May, and it's not a great time to be looking for work. We've been in this spot before. As a matter of fact, this is the 6th time in our marriage when Adam has been at loose ends, looking for a way to support us. You'd think we'd be used to it by now!
When trouble hits a Christian (or anybody) for the first time, it's like a tidal wave. You see it coming and scream, "Oh no!!! Why me!! Help!!!"
After it's happened a few times, you sigh deeply, steel yourself, and mumble, "Here we go again." And try to suppress any twinges of panic.
II Corinthians 12:9-10
"Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with (or I delight in) weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
Paul had been through a lifetime of hardships and calamities. He learned to trust God thoroughly in them. He finally saw them as blessed times, times when God's provision and strength in those calamities were delightful to him.
Oh how I long to learn that. How can I learn to welcome difficulties? Job loss? Uncertainty? Hardship? Because I should be able to recall that God's strength will be here for me, and the feeling of His strength in me, at those moments of utter weakness, is a spiritual wonder. It is an inner miracle. I can feel His presence with me at those times in a way cannot feel it at any other time.
I have days when I forget these things, and my heart is dejected. Hopefully, this verse will remind me. Like the dishwasher, I must be emptied by trials, so that I can be filled again with His strength!