Friday, July 14, 2017

Longitude and Latitude

UV 2718/10000 Longitude and Latitude
If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.
Proverbs 24 v 10

If we map our emotional coordinates: our attitudes, emotions and actions when the going is good is our “longitude.” Our attitudes, emotions and reactions when the going is bad is our “latitude.” The smaller the difference, the bigger, the stronger and greater we are. Faith is a great strength multiplier especially in times of adversity or crisis, when one suffers a loss, a life threatening-situation, a bereavement and so many other fiery arrows that life throws at us. The man of faith in such situations can lean on the Lord and obtain comfort from the Holy Spirit whose chief office is Comforter apart from being Remembrancer. He reminds us of the faithfulness of the Lord in good times and bad times and prompts us to be also consistent in our faith, our behaviour and our response to the crisis. He will enable us to run on and not get weary, to rise on wings like an eagle. Both faith and strength of a person is best tested in an adversity.
Joseph’s wisdom of using the “fat” years to prepare for the “lean” years is the ultimate wisdom. In the years of plenty or good times, he stocked up enough and more grain and food in a large number of barns across Egypt. So much so, in the years of famine, there was enough to feed not just the local populace but for export to surrounding famine affected areas. Joseph consistently practiced this wisdom even in the years in which he tumbled from one adversity to another. He developed his inner strength and character while he was young so that he was wise and competent when he was older. He never went overboard with either hatred or anger or self pity or revenge. He understood that the wisdom and grace of God is revealed more in our downturns than in our upturns. His longitude and latitude were at equilibrium in all seasons of his life.
Apart from faith and inner strength or resilience of a person, his passion also enables a person to rise to the occasion when faced with a big challenge. Continually pursuing a lifelong passion despite changes in circumstances or fortunes gives him a sense of focus and fortitude. He gathers all his strength and resources to focus on the task ahead, unmindful of the hardship. A person who endures with unflagging zeal endears himself to the Lord. It is of such material that the citizenry of heaven, the followers of Jesus are made, not those who will wilt like Jonah’s guard plant under the summer heat, not those who seek a life of continual ease and comfort.

Prateep V Philip

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