This is pretty awesome... it speaks of exactly what many of us have learned in the wake of Jason's & Lindsay's untimely deaths. Truly, though no one likes to experience and endure suffering, it serves to allow us to experience God's grace and lessen our grip on this earthly life. It gets us looking forward to eternity... and that is what we need to be doing. It is so easy to get caught up in life as we know it... but things like this change our perspectives. God is at work in our lives and our hearts. I love what today's "Purpose-Driven Life" devotional had to say:
Check Your Lane
by John Fischer
"When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane."
I got this from one of those joke pages flying around the Internet. Actually, having everything coming at you may not necessarily mean you're in the wrong lane when it comes to personal growth. I would go as far as to suggest that everything going your way is probably a condition to be less trusted than feeling like you're driving into oncoming traffic.
I just don't see God as doling out ease and contentment. His business lies more in the areas of refining and shaping us to conform more to the image of Christ, and none of that comes easy. Scripture indicates that the process by which this comes about includes, among other things, trials (James 1:2-3), suffering (Romans 5:3-4), discipline (Hebrews 12:7), and a growing sense of our own mortality (2 Corinthians 5:4-5).
In one illustration, Paul uses the metaphor of an earthen vessel to explain our human condition and how God uses us (2 Corinthians 4:7). To think about an earthen vessel (a piece of pottery) is to get an accurate picture of what we can expect in this life.
A pot begins as a lump of clay that is kneaded and slammed until all the air is out of it and the lump is the right consistency to form into something useful. Then it is placed on a potter's wheel where the potter molds and shapes it, spinning it in his wet hands, until its sides are stretched out and up into a shape that can hold something. Then it is set on a shelf and allowed to dry before the real fun part begins -- the firing -- after which it is glazed and fired again. (I hope you are imagining yourself going through all of this because that's the idea.) Finally it is ready to be used, and that usually includes some pretty rough treatment -- a seemingly endless pattern of getting dirty and being cleaned only to get dirty again. Over time it ages and cracks with use, but according to Paul's illustration, this only lets out more of what it contains, which is described as the light of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6) -- for we are indeed this vessel. It is a process that gradually de-emphasizes us and more and more emphasizes what we contain.
Which is to say that when everything seems to be coming your way (trials, hardship, testing times) you are probably in the right lane after all. It's the society we live in that thinks it deserves to have everything go its way. God never guaranteed anything of the kind, at least in this life.