Recently I’ve been thinking about how it’s very hard to reflect about the ‘mountains’ of good I’ve experienced during the challenging ‘valleys’ of my life. I find that I become negative way too quickly when I go through a bad situation – even if I was happy an hour earlier. This lack of seeing the good makes it that much harder to face the challenge.
Throughout my life I’ve tried different ways to put my problems in perspective (in order to better solve the issue) and this past Sunday I gained a new perspective from the story of when Our Lord Jesus was transfigured in front of his disciples:
About eight days after He said this, He took Peter, John, and James and went up the mountain to pray. While He was praying His face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white. (Luke 9:28-29 NAB)
Now at first glance this event seems totally out of place. Why would Jesus suddenly go ‘full-glory’ all of a sudden? The three disciples who witnessed the event were certainly not prepared for it nor do I think they expected the brilliant scene. St. Luke gives us a hint as he concludes the event in verse 36 of the same chapter:
…They fell silent and did not at that time tell anyone what they had seen (Luke 9:36 NAB)
Why does St. Luke mention that they did not tell anyone at that time? He means to foreshadow that they did speak about the event at a later time – and this later time is why Jesus was transfigured.
To paraphrase the homily that my priest gave this past Sunday, Jesus ‘gave’ His disciples the Transfiguration, in order to give them hope during His crucifixion, death and burial. The disciples NEEDED the awesomeness of the Mount of Transfiguration to endure the valley of the fulfillment of Our Lord’s Passion.
Wouldn’t it be interesting to view our lives in light of this story? What if the good times we experience are gifts from above to carry us through the bad times? When I think in this way, I have to recall the blessings of prosperity and loving relationships God gave me so that I can endure my trials. My focus is now on the good; and it gives me hope and joy to endure my troubles.
We have a LOVING God and He always gives us what we need! St. Paul says this in his first letter to the Corinthians:
No trial has come to you but what is human. God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial He will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13 NAB)
Sometimes the resolution to your trial has yet to be revealed to you; but also realize that God may have already given you the ‘way out’ before your trial when He led you up a mountain of happiness and showed you His glory.