Gregory of Nicea once called St. Basil’s faith ambidextrous because he welcomed pleasures with the right hand and afflictions with the left, convinced both would serve God’s design for him. (Philip Yancey, Reaching for the Invisible God)
When we look at our lives at what seems best for us, rarely would we think that afflictions fit in the picture. So it appears unnatural for someone to welcome them with conviction that God is behind them, at work completing his design. But as believers, we should know from biblical examples that this it true.
- Joseph, whose affliction led to thousands being saved during famine
- Esther, whose race was rescued after she stood up to a bully
- Naomi and Ruth, whose heartache led to a new family in the lineage of the Messiah
- Job, whose wholly affliction has given hope to every generation since
- Jesus, betrayed/beaten/forsaken/crucified in order that all may have eternal life with his Father
Are you in an affliction? Have you considered how it might fit into God’s design for you? If not, take a look at the pleasures in your right hand and thank God for them. It might help you develop ambidextrous faith as you look at what’s in your left hand.