Today I stumbled across one of my earliest writings, which Brian was kind enough to post on his blog. It was those early writings which planted the seed for me to start this site, and I'm very grateful to him, and to God for giving me the inspiration and the vocabulary to convey it. Having re-read what I wrote, it's bizarre to think that those are my own words from several months ago, as they seem to have been prophetically written for just this situation by someone else. Winston Churchill once said, "Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." Having experienced more than my fair share of disappointments in the last several months since I took up residence here in DC, I can authoritatively say that that statement is very nearly gospel.
When Jesus hung dead on the cross, it must have looked to all the world as though his message and his miraculous life had ended in failure. As his disciples sat sullenly in the upper room in the following days, I can't imagine there was much optimism in the room. Sometimes winning looks astonishingly similar to crushing defeat. Nevertheless, the human powers of perception are not the final authority on how a situation has actually turned out. Whether we see it or not, God's hand is at work at all times, in all situations, working for our good.
I intend to spend the next few weeks developing a few articles on this idea, and I'd like to explore in depth the story of Job, which I'm sure most of you know is quite an excellent case study in seemingly-pointless suffering which later worked out for Job's good and God's glory.
In the meantime, be encouraged that, as Benjamin Franklin succinctly said, "God governs in the affairs of men." As long as you're still breathing (or even if you've stopped, in the case of Lazarus), God's plan for your life is still at work. Sometimes things have to die in order to be reborn anew, and like a mythical Phoenix we must shake off the ashes of our former selves and take wing with the new form which God has reforged us into.
-2 Cor. 4:16-18