I was truly experiencing stress and anxiety this morning. It is rare for me to struggle getting out of bed, but with the mixture of sleep deprivation, a class load I am trying to balance, the need for a job I can't handle, and anxieties about the future, I wasn't exactly enthused about the idea of it.
I found a sanctuary in the shower. As I stood contemplating life (as most of us do in the shower), I thought of Romans 5:3, a verse I had just been writing about in a paper last night. Paul, in the light of the good news of justification in Christ writes, "And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance." That passage, when compared to other similar language that Paul uses, seems to be inferring not just to exulting in spite of tribulation, but rejoicing about tribulation because it brings more glory to Christ.
As I contemplated this, without even knowing why, I began to sing the song It is Well with My Soul (at least I sang the tune and the few words I know because I can't really remember the words, but I get the general concept). Then I began to glory that Christ was being made great in the midst of my trials and suffering. In that moment, I was truly experiencing His "easy yoke," and a real "peace of God that surpasses all understanding." There was an overwhelming desire in me to talk about Jesus with someone (which is why I am writing about Him). I greatly wished that every person in the world could feel this surreal peace that I was feeling at 6:30 am on a Monday morning.
I often read about this concept and apply it to how I think I may feel in full time ministry, but this morning I was reminded that Christianity is real and practical in my present reality. I truly was (and still am) experiencing a scriptural concept in my present reality.