AdversityOne of my heroes of the faith was E. Stanley Jones.  I was fortunate enough to have met him a couple of times due to my father working with him on several occasions.  The moment I met him as he ate dinner in our home, I knew he was a great man who had great influence.

While he was preaching at the church my dad served, I remember him telling of an experience he had as he watched an eagle face a storm high in the Himalayan Mountains.  The storms formed and brewed at the edge of a valley toward which the eagle was flying.  Jones said a question popped in his mind as he watched that eagle: Would the eagle fly around the storm and its fury, or would the eagle try to fly carelessly through it and risked be thrown against the side of cliff?

The question was answered right before Jones’ eyes.  The eagle set its wings in just the right position so that the air currents from the storm sent him rising above the storm.  The eagle had used the force of the current which threatened its life to rise above the storm.

If eagles have the ability to use a negative force to rise above the storm, think of what you and I have the ability to do in similar moments.  Jesus is the best example of what can be done in threatening, dark circumstances.  He faced a mock court and came away the only one whose heart and motives were still pure.  He took on the ugly and brutal cross and transformed it into a symbol of forgiveness for all.

From Jesus’ example, it looks like the difference between our desire for good and its becoming a reality is in our own decision – the decision to allow every struggle or adversity do something for us rather than do something to us.

The choice is always ours.

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