How many of us hate being inconvenienced?  I know I do.  Sometimes
I don’t mind so much, but there are other days when even the
slightest inconvenience can turn a good day into a bad day.  Like,
for example, today.

Next to my apartment building the city is constructing a new complex of
high-rise and office buildings.  Whether it is because of this
construction, or for some other unknown reason, our water
frequently and without warning gets switched off, often for 12
hours or more.  I hate this.  I can’t shower, wash my clothes,
clean the dirty dishes, or flush the toilet.  The worst part is
that I don’t know when it will happen.  I have started filling large
jugs with water to have in case of emergency.  Today when I got
home after 8 hours of class I discovered we, once again, had no
water.  I was so frustrated.   My mind started firing off angry
thoughts: “Why do they keep turning the water off!?  Could someone
please post a notice or something so we could be warned in
advance?!”  Etc. etc.  Before I knew it, I was all wound up.

I went into my room, put on some worship music, and started reading
a book by Derek Levendusky called “Discipleship by Grace.  I hadn’t
read more than 3 pages when I saw a paragraph that started with the
word “inconveniences.”  That’s me!  In the following sentences the
author describes how the inconveniences we can experience as a
result of following the Great Commission are a type of suffering
that God can use to make us more like Him.  I never really thought
of it like that.  I mean, living in a foreign culture, being
thousands of miles away from my family, getting food poisoning once
or twice a year, that is more what comes to mind when I think about
trials and suffering….but not being able to flush the toilet?

If we are truly following the commands of Christ, then we will
experience inconveniences, trials, and sufferings of various kinds
because the Bible never says this would be easy. In fact, it says
quite the opposite.  But when we can see these inconveniences,
whether great or small, as an opportunity to grow more like Jesus,
well, that changes everything!  It did for me.