Can anyone say with honesty that they welcome trouble? I certainly can not. For trouble is an equal opportunist. It cuts across all cultures, socioeconomic statuses, and races. Money can’t shoo all trouble away. And even our profession of faith as Christ followers does not give us an all-exclusive pass from trouble.
Ezekiel serves as a prime example that you can be doing all the right things and still bad things happen. He was serving God, proclaiming His truths, yet he still received troubling news.
“Son of man, with one blow I will take away your dearest treasure. Yet you must not show any sorrow at her death. Do not weep; let there be no tears. Groan silently, but let there be no wailing at her grave. Do not uncover your head or take off your sandals. Do not perform the usual rituals of mourning or accept any food brought to you by consoling friends.” Ezekiel 24:16-17
Now putting myself in Ezekiel’s shoes, I wonder what my true response would be. Would I be tempted to whine about how unfair it all seemed? Would I continue to proclaim His truth despite my personal situation? I do not have to look back very far to see how I have failed similar tests. Unlike Ezekiel, I haven’t experienced the loss of a spouse but I have lost things as a believer. And I must say there have been times that I was a very sore loser. My commitment level waned. My confessions of certain truths were less than normal. But that was not the case with Ezekiel, instead he proclaimed to the people the next morning, and in the evening his wife died but he still did everything God said.
Reading further in the passage, you will find that God was using him as a example for the people so that they might know that God is the sovereign Lord. Granted Ezekiel had the privilege of knowing before hand that this trouble was coming, which we don’t always have. But in the Word it tells us that in this life we will have trouble. Can God trust us (me) to be a proper reflection of Him even during troubling times? Will we (I) remain steadfast in our obedience, love, confession and serving?