By Mary Stout
In times of prosperity be joyful, but in times of adversity consider this: God has made one as well as the other, so that no one can discover what the future holds.
Ecclesiastes 7:14 NET
I once heard a story about a car that had a mind of its own. It seems there were certain days the gas tank gauge said it was empty and it wasn’t. There were other days when it would say it was full but it wasn’t. Figuring that out was quite a task. One would have to pay attention to how the car ran, what the gauge read, how the car acted to find a solution. Keeping in mind the car is telling you how it’s doing, you have to be vigilant so you don’t run completely out of gas.
We have days we feel full and connected in our faith and days we feel disconnected, like we are running on empty. Life can through us curves sometimes. Especially right now when we cannot attend church, our attention to our faith and the connection we have with the Lord must be cultivated daily.
Today’s verse reminds us to remember the good times and the times of adversity both come from God. Let’s face it: Being a Jesus follower is hard work. We will suffer some days, and we will have joyful days. We don’t know when those days will come. If we keep our daily practices of prayer, meditate on the word and connection to others walking beside us, the tough days will pass and we will be stronger for it.
God wants us to stay connected always. Even in tough times when we don’t feel connected, He is with you. It’s those days of joyful connection that strengthen you so when adversity comes and your light seems dim, God is enough.
Prayer: Father, we know all our experiences come to help us be stronger. Thank you for your grace and love that carry us through the deep waters of suffering. Thank you for the strength you have given me in the joyful times. May my light shine for others when they experience an empty gas tank. Help me lean into my faith in exactly those times. In Jesus’ name, Amen.