When It gets tough: Meditation for the third Sunday in Lent
It is said that when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. This, in other words, means that as it gets tough, those not tough drop out. They get discouraged and drop out. One thing that those not tough do not seem to know is that the darker the night, the nearer the dawn. The highest point of the mountain is the point from which descent is made. Getting tough can, therefore, be a sign that the end of troubles is near. Only a step further can take one to the turning point. Therefore, when it gets tough, quitting may not be the answer. Effort and determination are needed to move on. It is he who endures to the end that will be saved. Remain focused and determined even when it gets tough.
Reflection on the Readings for the Day (Matins):
The OT passage (Exod. 5:1-6:1) records the beginning of God’s intervention in the situation of the people of Israel. God had seen what they were passing through and decided to deliver them from the hands of Pharaoh and the Egyptians through Moses. They felt relieved and were waiting for the approach of Pharaoh by Moses and Aaron to bring the desired change in their lives. But contrary to their expectation, the reverse became the case. Their sufferings were intensified and they became furious with Moses and Aaron, the supposed agents of divine intervention. They became demoralised and lost every confidence both in Moses and Aaron and their purported deliverance.
It was really a very difficult and tough situation. But the severity of the tribulation, as our Lord Jesus Christ said, is the index that the Messiah is near (Matt. 24:33). Moses himself did not expect it that tough! When he complained to God, God let him know that the tough situation, as it were, was indeed the beginning of God’s dealing with Pharaoh for a compelling and complete salvation: “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh. For with a strong hand he will let them go, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land,’” (Exod. 6:1).
The NT passage (Luke 22:54-end) is the peak of the trial of Jesus by the Sanhedrin. It was a tough situation both to Jesus and his disciples. After the arrest of Jesus, almost all his disciples fled for their dear lives. Peter, one of the few that remained, “followed at a distance” and at a point had to deny Jesus three times. Jesus himself was derided, mocked and beaten. But he refused to be intimidated or discouraged or distracted. He neither complained nor murmured. He rather demonstrated absolute trust and confidence in God.
Lessons For The Day:
• We should never allow the trials and problems of this world to lead us away from God.
• When it begins to get tough, we should learn to:
• Trust God to do what is best for us.
• Look for ways to honour God in the precarious situation.
• Remember that God will not abandon us.
• Trust God for working out good out of difficult and ugly situations for He moves in mysterious ways to perform his wonders.
• The Venerable (Dr) Princewill Onyinyechukwu Ireoba, FIMC, CMC, is the Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State. https://ibrucentre.org. firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com)
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