Day FIVE: Nov 15-21

HOPE in the Freeze

We have a fence problem. It’s actually more of a wind problem than a fence problem, but it is frustrating nonetheless.  On the South side of my house, my backyard features 132 feet of cyclone.  We’ve thought about continuing our cedar fence inside of the School’s cyclone fence, but it’s incredibly costly.  In search of a cost effective solution, we’ve purchased a green privacy screen from Amazon. “Indestructible”. “Ripstop Fabric”. “Hyper Tensile Strength”. Amazon product descriptions should come with a fact checker! Over the course of the past year and a half we have gone through two screens due to high winds. That screen has turned out to be . . . fragile. 

Most things in our world are fragile. When acted upon by an outside force most materials bend, break, rip, or degrade.  Sun beats down on a house and the pain fades. My 9 year old uses her foot as a drag brake on her scooter and her shoes wear out. But for the Christian our faith is actually Antifragile. Nassim Taleb in his book “Antifragile” writes,

“Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk and uncertainty. Yet, in spite of the ubiquity of the phenomenon, there is no word for the exact opposite of fragile. Let us call it antifragile. Anti-fragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better.”

As we follow Jesus we expect some volatility, disorder, and stress. Jesus himself says, “in this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33).  God has created us to not only withstand, but to GROW in the midst of turmoil and trouble. 

“We can rejoice,too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our faith.”

-Romans 5:3

“For we know that when your faith is tested, endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be mature and complete, needing nothing.”

– James 1:2

“There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold…”

– 1 Peter 1:7

“Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be glad for these trials make you partners with Christ in His sufferings…”

– 1 Peter 4:13

That sounds pretty antifragile to me. Brothers and Sisters, could it be that this season will be the answer to many of our prayers, to be refined into the image of our master Jesus? To clarify, God is not causing the troubles of this world, but He WILL USE IT to continue to renew us and our world. As you process the hardship that has been and is coming, think of it as a downpayment on God’s promise to renew you.  He is doing good work that is fueled rather than stifled by our present circumstances.  Consider these questions. 

  • How do you feel about the two week freeze? In what areas do you see it causing hardship?
  • What would you like to see God do in you and your family during this time? 

Take some time to sit in silence for a few minutes after you finish. Allow your faith to be bolstered as the Holy Spirit fills you for a fresh day.

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