By Chaplain (Capt.) David Redden
It has been said that the more responsibility you have, the more contingency plans you must make. If you are not careful, your expectations of life can become more about the negative hurdles than the journey toward success. Being joyful in hope speaks to the mental and emotional state of being during trials. If God is a part of our life, and he is, then God is a part of our trial and delivery. So while life experiences may condition us to watch for the next hurdle, our expectation of God’s presence in our life should motivate us to maintain our pace toward the finish line.
Patience is powerful. Being patient in affliction does not mean to sit idle and do nothing. Patience is meant to give you time to gain enough understanding to use wisdom in your next step. Rather than being emotionally reactive with no time to develop a rational analysis or gain spiritual insight, use the delayed time period of affliction to empower yourself. Too many people make rash decisions to get out of their trial as soon as possible. In any situation, you can advantage yourself with time – time to calm down; time to re-think; time to get your facts straight; time to seek spiritual insight; time to gain wisdom from others; time for the situation to possibly change; time to contemplate a better solution; time to decide if doing nothing could benefit you more than responding at all. If you do not absolutely have to make an immediate decision, patience will empower you.
It’s comforting when we have secure and meaningful relationships with the people who are important in our lives. It’s the same way with God. In uncertain times, it’s comforting to connect with God and know our relationship is secure. When the disciples were battling the storm at sea, Jesus was asleep below. When the disciples awakened Christ and sought his help, He simply stepped forward on the boat and spoke, “peace, be still.”
Stop fighting your battles alone. Don’t hesitate to pray to God in trials. Seek him out and bring him to the forefront of your situation.
(Editor’s note: Redden is the 5th Engineer Battalion chaplain).