I frequently interpret difficult, soul-trying circumstances as punishment. When you were raised by a sociopath you are trained to believe that when bad things happen to you it is always your fault, and you deserve it. This is a hard thought pattern to break.
I must constantly remind myself–in the wake of such a long, quick succession, of repeatedly unfortunate events, recently–that I behaved and responded with integrity, did “as much as depends upon me,” and did the very best I could, though imperfectly. When such is the case I have nearly passed the test.
But only “nearly” because the other part of the test is to hold fast, weather the storm, and remember that I am and will be OK because I am not alone–Jesus is IN THE BOAT in the midst of the storm, so to speak.
Jeremiah didn’t do any better than I am doing. God had to remind him that He is in the stillness, the suggestion being that when you’re caught in a whirlwind you don’t run or panic, you go to that still space inside yourself.
That. Is. Difficult.
The best I can hope for and expect of myself is that when I am continuously and regularly on the receiving end of so much bad stuff, despite doing “as much as depends on me,” and always getting up and trying again after an attempted knockout punch, is to be like the man who said:
“Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief.”
Life is good and I am grateful.