There is a quote I wish I could find, the words have been in my head since I read it ten years ago. It’s by AW Pink and it’s in his book The Sovereignty of God, but I don’t feel like skimming it. Anyway, he said something interesting that has stuck with me. That if the only time we are growing spiritually is during difficult times then we might need to reexamine if our faith is true faith. It was one of those quotes that nudged me toward Christ.
I think of this quote each time I hear a pastor talk about how much we grow during difficult times. Most pastors don’t mean it negatively, it’s just an obvious observation to make. But Pink’s words really drove home for me the truth that we ought to be growing, maybe even more, during times of peace.
I can’t recall the rest of the chapter around his quote but I liken this idea to the building of a walled city. Of course, we know that cities used to be walled to protect people from attacks. It is very difficult to build a wall for protection when we are being attacked, so what kind of protection (faith) are we building if we are only trying to build it during trials? Or, as TobyMac puts it, “only look to heaven when you’re goin’ through some drama?”
In peaceful times, I realize now, is when we should be truly building our faith. That is the sort of faith that will withstand the attacks and the trials of this life. It’s been a long time since I had any sort of peace in my life. And, honestly, I don’t exactly have it now, but it is, for maybe the next few days or weeks, as peaceful as it’s going to be for a long time. I hope that, instead of becoming complacent and just resting during this time, I will build my faith because, let’s face it, my life is not getting any easier and who knows what the next attack will be. If the walls are not built up and fortified when it comes, it’s too late to try at that point.