Romans 5:1-5 (MSG)
1 By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us-set us right with him, make us fit for him-we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. 2 And that's not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand-out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise. 3 There's more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, 4 and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. 5 In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary-we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!
The Catholic priest Brennan Manning once said, “I used to be Snow White, but then I drifted . . .” We walk the road of discipleship carrying all of our imperfections and mistakes that make us human. We follow Christ knowing that we have the peace that only God can bring. When we stumble over our imperfections--when we fall--God picks us up and puts us back on the path because we are loved. Life is never perfect and often it is very hard but we are never deserted or left alone. God is always there.
In a letter written several months before his execution by the Nazis, the theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote about the presence of God and how God strengthens us in the face of all that life can throw at us. In conclusion, Bonhoeffer wrote with confidence,
God does not always give us everything we want, but He does fulfill all his promises, i.e., He remains the Lord of the earth, He preserves His Church, constantly renewing our faith . . . gladdening us with his nearness and help, hearing our prayers, and leading us along the best and straightest paths to himself.
Bonhoeffer certainly hoped for a different path in his life but he followed the path before him with faith and with the knowledge that God’s peace was enough to carry him through. Think about it.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison (New York, NY: Little Brown & Company, 1996), 49.