I heard a new word yesterday: adulting. Disasters reveal how well we are adulting. They also aid the process of turning us into spiritual adults, even when we would rather remain spiritual infants. I know no better way to become mature than through trials.
That doesn’t mean we should go looking for trouble, like Eastern gurus who exalt the cathartic benefits of suffering. They strip naked in the cold, or walk on beds of coals, or pull temple carts with hooks embedded in their bodies. But Christianity does not encourage the pursuit of distress. In fact, we can’t achieve cleansing at all through our own efforts. Instead, we are cleansed when we accept the gift of salvation. It’s a cleansing not obtained by good works, but by the Lord Jesus through His Cross-payment on our behalf. So we shouldn’t run toward trouble to force maturity.
But we do not run away from trouble either. We have to view troubles realistically. They are expected features of a fallen human race and a broken world. And beyond merely embracing their inevitability, we also need to examine our attitudes toward troubles, our reactions to them, and our actions in them.