This week has been off to say the least. Two things happened that changed things a bit. First, my cell phone died Saturday night, causing me to lose most of the contact information I had (been there, right?). Secondly, my laptop crashed Monday during a week that I have mid-terms and papers due! Fortunately, a technician was able to find out the problem (DIM/processor failure), and I was able to eventually retrieve all my data (and back it up!).

Figuring that I will be set back from blogging much due to my technical limitations, I figured this would be a good time to invite some friends of mine to guest post on the blog. Because I have not received confirmation from them at this point, I cannot reveal who they are, though I promise they are much smarter (and better writers) than I am (and no, they currently are not blogging). I have not asked them to write about anything specifically as I hope they would share whatever interests them. So look forward to some new faces (Lord willing) of old friends who have been an incredible encouragement in my life. I believe they will be an encouragement to you as well.

In the meantime, I have been thinking about trials, adversity, and seasons of brokenness in our lives. When difficulty and affliction come our way, it can be difficult to interpret what happened and more importantly why it happened. Interpreting life situations are without a doubt reflective of our understanding of God, providence, prayer, and sanctification. Allow me to share some of the thoughts that have entered my mind as I reflected on the brokenness of my phone and laptop.

Initially, I asked myself, “Lord what are you wanting to teach me? Is there any indwelling sin that I have committed that brought this about as a consequence?” Secondly, I wrestled with the issue as a distraction and discouragement after a wonderful weekend of ministry, sweet fellowship, and God’s presence. I believe that the devil would love to have us dwell on things that distract and discourage us in order to keep us from being a servant of Christ. Thirdly, I found myself thanking God for getting me out of my comfort zone and making me sensitive to the things of this world that I can become so dependent upon. Affliction and trials alter life and provide a jolt that have a way of sobering you up to the routine that often has a lulling affect. Fourthly, I was burdened by the lack of brokenness in my own heart and life. How little my heart breaks for my unbelieving coworkers who are perishing outside of Christ! How careless I can be in giving watch over my own soul and the sin that grieves the heart of my Father! I am sad to say that a broken and contrite heart has sometimes become a lyric I agree on a screen but disagree in my heart. Finally, I would be amiss to fail to be reminded that, although we enjoy the expertise and skill of technicians and engineers, laptops and cell phones are products of fallen humanity that also fail. Such failure and brokenness should make my heart long for the day when Christ will usher in a new heaven and a new earth, free from the stain of sin and fallen humanity, and where there will be no cell phones or laptops. Days like today bring me hope and an eagerness for faith to be sight, for this earthly tent to be laid aside, and to feel the embrace of Him who will wipe away all our tears.

I know that the failure of cell phones of laptops are very minor things, which leads me to think of Abraham and Molly Piper and the death of their daughter this week. Brothers and sisters, let us pray for one another during such seasons of grief, suffering, affliction, and trials. Let us pray for the comfort and peace which only God can provide, and let us pray that we respond to such life situations in a way that God is shown trustworthy, Christ is treasured as precious, and the Church is shown as those who rejoice in hope, are patient in tribulation, and constant in prayer, weeping with those who weep and rejoicing with those who rejoice.