Today as I spent my earliest moments with my Lord, this passage of petition shone out in the book of prayer that I use:
Teach me to use all the circumstances of my life today to bring forth fruit of holiness:
Let me use disappointment as material for patience:
Let me use success as material for thankfulness:
Let me use suspense as material for perseverance:
Let me use danger as material for courage:
Let me use reproach as material for long suffering:
Let me use praise as material for humility:
Let me use pleasures as material for temperance:
Let me use pains as material for endurance.
I need to focus on the purposes of the circumstances in my own spiritual formation--not as things to be endured, overcome or a means to an agenda I have in mind.
"Invitation to a Journey" defines spiritual formation as "the process of being conformed to the image of Christ for the sake of others."
God put us here and chose us time out of mind (whatever that means) to conform us to something very unimaginable so that we can help others. I shudder to think of when I have been a block to trip over rather than a help, but He forgives contrite ones and still uses their weakness to point to His great power.
Must get ready for church.