November 28, 2007
When You Can't Catch a Break... and You Want to Know Why
by Meghan Kleppinger, Editor, Christianity.com
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."
When it rains it pours; it is feast or famine; everything bad comes in threes; it always go from bad to worst; I can't seem to catch a break...
I don't have to ask if you've ever felt like a walking version of one of these clichés - if you're human, you have.
Just the other day, I had an unfortunate run-in with a Papasan Chair - I went to sit down and the top wasn't situated on the base correctly, so I sort of slid off with the top part, fell on my face, and twisted my ankle.
Normally, even I would have laughed at the ridiculousness of this scene, but it came at the end of a very bad day. Like any mature adult, I called my mother to complain about life in general... and that stupid chair. She said, "Well, isn't that the third thing to happen today?" It was - and I called her each time an unfortunate event had occurred that day. She finished with, "Remember things happen in threes, so you should be good now!"
That's not exactly how life works, but naming some rhyme or reason seems to help. The truth is that we can't always explain the "why," and thank goodness, our job isn't to solve the mystery behind our pain. If we embrace the reality of suffering in our lives, however, we can learn about ourselves, God, and how to mature in the Christian walk.
Now back to the Papasan Chair - I don't know why it attacked me, but I've learned and grown from the experience. I will never, ever, sit on that thing again! In life, with "real" suffering, we have a choice: to come out of bad circumstances the same as we were before, or to allow God to teach and mature through it.
Intersecting Faith & Life: Take a few moments to reflect on the various trials God has brought you through and what He's taught you through them