“He who knows no hardships will know no hardihood. He who faces no calamity will need no courage. Mysterious though it is, the characteristics in human nature which we love best grow in a soil with a strong mixture of troubles.” Harry Emerson Fosdick
Spiritually speaking – we are all giant human sponges.
Yes – a sponge.
Think Sponge-Bob Square Pants.
You and I are human “Sponge_____ SquarePants.” (Fill in the blank with your name; I would be SpongeAndrea SquarePants).
Why the analogy of a sponge?
The way that we go through life, absorbing the difficult parts of our journey is quite similar to what makes “great” sponges.
What makes a GREAT sponge?
You find one with the most holes. It will absorb the most water.
The fibers in the sponge create a product that has more empty space than anything else.
The holes between the fibers soak up the water and then cause the fibrous material to swell. This prevents the water from sloshing out of the sponge and thus it is trapped IN the sponge until it is forcibly squeezed.
If you were to remove the empty space in the sponge, you would see the actual material would take up less than 1/3 of the sponge’s actual size.
The sponge with the most holes is the most absorbent.
The human having lived through many periods of darkness is the most resilient.
In the times where we feel alone and without God – the holes in our lives, we are actually growing and absorbing things we are not aware of at the time.
We become strong and resilient.
While we may not know it at the time, when we go through the dark/alone times there is something that is happening deep within us that will surface when we come out on the other side.
It is in the voids that we are filled, just like the sponge.
The bigger our voids, the more we will ultimately be able to hold.
Thoughts to Ponder:
- Can you look back at your life at a time of suffering and see how you are stronger now as a result of living through that dark period?
- How did you make it through that difficult time? Think back on each day . . . were there conscious choices you made in order to continue forward in the journey?
- Recognize those thoughts and actions that led you through the darkness. Then know that you have a resilience now because of that darkness that you did not have then. This will serve as a resource to help you move forward again when darkness comes.
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.” No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.