What's wrong with me? When I'm sick I get grumpy and irritable. When I'm criticised I become defensive. When people interrupt me I become impatient. I get angry at injustice. Waiting in lines, and bureaucratic runarounds make me feel I'm wasting my life.

I've had a few good days. Days when I caught up on the weeding, my eczema cleared up, I managed to write a few letters, was interviewed at a protest march, and finished with a lovely glass of wine and a beautiful sunset.

I try to pray on the bad days, but my prayers don't get anywhere. On good days I feel aglow with the presence of God. Why can't I have more good days?

But I've been thinking that maybe my 'good' days are the 'blah' ones spiritually... holidays from the business of growing in love. Maybe in God's record book points are only scored on the horrible days when nothing seems to go right. Sure, I lost my temper, but I lasted 15 seconds longer than the previous time, and thus got 15 points overall. Whereas I got nothing for the day when everything went right. It was just a rest between battles.

James 1:2-3 says, "Rejoice when you fall into various temptations, knowing that trials teach patience."

It's not that I should go looking for battles. Even the Lord's payer says I should pray that I not be put to the test spiritually. The good days are something to be thankful for. Without them, I would never make it. And I Corinthians 10:13 says one way to win battles is to run away from them.

But I can't run from all of them. And when I find myself in the middle of a test I cannot escape from, it pays to remember that this is a great opportunity to brush up on discipline, grow in patience, expand my ability to love. And the lessons I learn in the middle of these battles will count for all eternity.

On the test days I find out just how unspiritual I am; but that's good for my pride too. The main thing is to do a little better than last time. If I do, perhaps God will see it and note my progress.

But I'm probably boring you with all this, since this is my special problem.

Or is it?

*For more information related to this article, please check out the following video: Bro. Dave Ch. #22 - Surviving the Great Tribulation