In your private thoughts, you are still trying to order your world so that it is predictable and feels safe...this is impossible (and) counterproductive to spiritual growth....(because) trouble can highlight your awareness of My Presence." (361)
This brings to mind the story of beach pebbles...why some are so polished and beautiful, while others can be quite rough and dull in color. It all depends upon the circumstances of their journey. If the shoreline of the beach forms a "pocket" that traps and frames the bedrock, then the stones will continually tumble and toss until they are naturally smooth and polished by the salty repetitive waves. The most beautiful ones have been battered and bathed the most. Geologists who study stones can determine a lot of history by the shape, size and color of the stones.
We are much the same. The waves of adversity can highlight how God's Presence has polished and refined us until we are like the cherished pebbles discovered on beaches and taken home as beautiful treasures and tangible gems of inspirations.
In the throes of adversity, I've seen these "gems" reflect "the radiance of (His) Face." In the midst of crashing salty waves, feeling tossed and trapped, they stop and "consider" God, tearfully bathing in His Presence. No wonder they "consider it all joy" because they have been...
Tumbling with Jesus...dmc