The Path to Virtue

House Unseen, Life Unscripted blogged about fearing trials.  It struck a note with me because I have SO been there!  Even though much of what we struggle through is just typical life and not a spiritual attack aimed at us personally, it is easy to get so overwhelmed by daily trails that we begin to fixate on them.  Being by nature a rather neurotic woman, I can become irrational quite easily; I have found that a concerted effort on my part to apply reason in the analysis of what has me freaked out often proves beneficial.

I used to be afraid of trials coming. After all, as a Christian, I know that tribulations come and these things are permitted by God to help us grow in virtue.  We mature by way of testing and the crosses we bear but it is perfectly human to look at the potential for suffering in this life and to be afraid.

I feared so much at one point I wondered if trying to grow in virtue was worth it.   If every time I over-come and become calm and at peace in one trial, will not the next one be harder and the next after that even harder?  I did not find it helpful when people pointed out that God gives the grace to handle these trials.  That each harder trail will come when I have grown enough to handle it is slim comfort when in the middle of a trail that feels like it will shatter me!

There was also this little whisper that if I were less eager for Jesus that somehow life would get easier. The devil attacks those who love God more than those who let things slide.  The tempter tries to get the Christian to let vice grow so as to have an easier life.  Truth is though that most bad luck is just normal stuff and has nothing to do with the devil.

Reason finally won out.

I started to ask myself the question, “where might this message of fear be coming from?”  I mean, God is GOOD, God is LOVE, the pure and perfect kind. The scriptures remind us that “perfect love casts out fear.” It made me wonder if the devil whispers fear to us in an attempt to get us to stop trying so hard to grow in virtue. If gaining virtue begins to frighten us, then we are more likely to let vice grow and he gains another soul for hell.  If fear is not from God then I ought not to trust it.

What should I trust?  My own desires or those God has for me?  I love myself, but God is LOVE, the perfect kind that is beyond our comprehension, so God loves me more than I can love me.  God is GOOD.  Good in a sense so perfect that I cannot comprehend it properly.  This good God loves ME as an individual, He knows my name, counts the hair on my head, and counts me more valuable than the birds who cannot drop from the sky without Him knowing. He wants my highest and best good. If I cannot trust HIM, how can I trust anyone?

God knows perfectly.  I sure don’t.  I don’t even know myself all that well and I AM me!  Again, who should I trust to choose the BEST and HIGHEST good for me?  Who knows best what I am able to handle, and who knows best what will ultimately bring me to the perfect joy of heaven?  Is it reasonable to reject God’s will in favor of mine, seeing as mine is based on ignorance that I cannot overcome?

I decided I would rather take the difficulties HE, who actually loves me with a pure love, who wants the highest good for me, and who knows perfectly what I need to be happy for eternity, permits than to avoid them.

I still manage to do really stupid things on a regular basis but trusting God to know best is a well reasoned choice I hope to grow to follow more consistently.

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