Heidi Keeler once wrote, “The qualities that I admire most in someone? The strengths that make up the woman of God that I yearn to be? They don’t come easily. They are forged in our spirits, not acquired.” What qualities do you find attractive in someone, qualities that you would like to have? As I thought through this, Wonder Woman came to my mind. Okay okay, not the fact that she has the perfect body or that her long flowing locks are amazingly beautiful or not even the fact that she has special powers. I’m talking about the qualities of character. For me, it is the courage, the perseverance, resilience, unwavering faith, empathy for others, peace of heart and true joy that attracts me.
It would be nice if we could take a class on learning to be all of these things, but when you think about it, these qualities cannot be learned in some classroom sitting at a desk. Heidi Keeler wrote an article last year where she spoke about how these qualities just mentioned are “immeasurable gifts that God builds into us during hard times that grow us to be the best we can be, to give us the most life-giving parts of who we are.” To attain these qualities, we must strap on our boots and hit the ground and at times crawl in the trenches. Think about it. The only way to obtain courage is to battle fear. Resilience comes after we have been knocked down and struggle to get back up, but in the end, you find yourself standing. Empathy comes through the pain of experience. When you come through a difficult circumstance you can come alongside someone else going through the same difficulty with the same perspective. You know what they are going through! True joy is something that grows in us when we learn how to handle heartache. Oh and peace that you can’t explain? It comes smack dab in the middle of the storms. Finally, the unwavering faith grows in us, as Heidi said, “when what we see with our eyes doesn’t match up with what we are hoping for.” Look at the events of the day. We see so many people dying and struggling with this covid19 virus, but despite what we see with our eyes, we continue to stand firm in knowing that God still occupies the throne, He is still in control, and He will still have the final word in all of this. Unwavering faith!
I don’t think anyone would say that the qualities they would like to inhabit are what is exhibited in, let’s say the Joker – self-centeredness, a volatile temper, or wrongful ambition. These qualities are easy to achieve because of our nature from the start. We all like to be the ruler of our little kingdoms where life is all about ourselves, but God wants to mold us differently. He wants us to be able to produce a good fruit and to do this, we must be transformed into something new. In John 12:24, Jesus said, “I assure you: Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces a large crop.” Jesus knew that his death would bring salvation to the world and we too must “die” to our selfishness, volatile tempers, wrongful ambitions and all of the other qualities that keep us from sharing with others what God has given us. Jesus says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Yes, even as a Christian, God will allow you to be forged in the fire to create higher qualities in you that will enable you to complete a good work in Him and for His kingdom. Boots on the ground, crawling in the trenches will all lead to immeasurably, worthy qualities that God can use for good. Are you floundering in a trench today? Are you struggling to move forward in the face of hardship? Keep pushing forward with your eyes fixed on the outcome. What awesome quality will be forged in your spirit in the end? Courage? Perseverance? Joy? Empathy? Peace? Resilience? Unwavering faith? Let God complete his work in you, it is so worth it in the end! Battle on, my friends! I am praying for you!