Have you ever played dominos? I used to call it this when I was a kid, when in actuality it wasn't the way you played dominos at all. You know, standing them all up just a few centimetres apart making a super cool trail with lots of twists and turns. Then you knock that first one down and watch them all fall. Occasionally it will only go so far because you have placed a few tiles too far apart and they won't hit. So you try again, standing them all up again, making the necessary improvements and then you knock down that first one again. There was something so satisfying about resetting those tiles especially around the turns just to see them all fall smoothly! You just can't help but rejoice in success.
When I think about some of the trials I have been through I can relate it to a big game of dominos. Everything is going so good then all if a sudden there is a malfunction. A malfunction in my relationships, my communication, my love for others. So, I try and learn from my mistakes, and try again, hoping this time I can get past this "turn". Usually I am ready to learn really quick wanting the mess to just be over.
But why not rejoice in the mess as well?
Why only in the end, when things work out?
Why not walk with open eyes, an open mind, an open heart to see what it is I am supposed to be learning, see the way I am supposed to live as a better Christ follower.
In Romans 5:3-5 it reads:
'We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens or confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given is the Holy Spirit to fill out hearts with His love.'
Can you see the domino effect there? Our problems help develop endurance, which leads to our character being strengthened, which leads to hope. Hope in Christ and what He came here to do. A hope that doesn't lead to disappointment (this part was my favorite...I have hoped so much in things... just to be disappointed...) Hope that leads to God's great and unending love for me. And for you.
In the beginning, the middle and the end;
of the good, the bad, and the ugly.