“If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?” (Jeremiah 12:5)
There are indeed major “defining” experiences in our life. We do come to important “crossroads” which play a large part in determining our life’s trajectory. But what is even more crucial in our life is how we navigate the everyday waters we are presented with.
The preparation to face the big tests is found in the passing of smaller tests. “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” (Luke 16:10) If we can’t take hold of God, and gain His wisdom and way, in a day of relative peace, how are we going to do it when all hell has broken loose?
Can we afford to live sloppily in the present? God wants us to be maturing and “learning obedience” through the things that bring us minor pain today, so we will not be consumed by the hotter furnace of tomorrow. We may hate the irritations we daily face from our surrounding; but we would do better to rejoice in these trials with the understanding that they are the very means God uses to work godliness into our lives.
You can’t run until you’ve learned how to walk. You can’t walk until you know how to crawl. God wants us to start somewhere to learn of Him and His ways. No doubt, bigger hurdles are ahead. But there’s no place like the present to train for the future.