Sometimes, people of faith live under the misguided perception that bad things will never happen to good people, especially if the good people happen to be us. But the truth is that life is chaotic, we will go through dark times, and sooner or later a messy bird of some kind or the other will swoop down unexpectedly into our tidy clean spaces. If we live long enough, eventually bad things, whether small and aggravating or huge and heartbreaking, will come our way. We can respond in one of three ways.
FIGHT. Look for someone to blame for our current woes. Get mad at other people. Get mad at God for allowing such a horrible thing to happen. Dump angry words with wild abandon on anyone in the path of our problem.
FLIGHT. Run away from the negative situation. Move. Avoid the person we disagree with, change jobs, change churches, change friends. Substitute busyness for solutions. Hide in our rooms feeling sorry for ourselves.
FAITH. Hold on to our faith to get us through whatever trauma comes our way. God is with us in the turmoil. He never gives up on us even when we give up on ourselves. He helps us in our time of need even when we tumble so far into despair that we cannot feel his presence. When our dreams are crushed, when we are broken and wounded, when bad things happen, we have no need to fear. The love of God the Father, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit are with us.
We can trust with absolute assurance that no matter what comes our way, God is with us. He holds us in the palm of his hand with tender grace and unconditional love. This is how we bloom. This is how we live a faith of hope and joy.