It is interesting how one word can mean two different things on earth and in heaven.
The word for today kids is, “promotion.”
Here on earth promotion can be a big deal and certainly something worth celebrating; more benefits, a better office, more pay. And more responsibility, of course, but the benefits!
In heaven, I’m thinking the scenario is way different. A promotion can feel like a demotion. “Humility” and “pressure” also come to mind. It attracts negative attention from the one who hates us and who hates the character of God he sees growing in us.
God’s version of promotion reminds me of my first swimming lesson. I was at the pool with my cousins, and one of my older and much, much taller cousins was holding onto me in the depths of the four foot section. He asked me if I knew how to swim, and I’m sure he thought I said, “Why, yes,” because the next moment I was unattached in the water, flailing and sinking and drinking up the pool through my nose.
By the time he lifted me out of the water I was so angry I probably took a swing at him. End of swimming lessons for the day.
Your personality is probably different than mine, but this tactic can be effective for someone like me who can be….overly cautious, distrustful, perfectionistic, afraid of change, and stubborn. (Btw, who would promote someone like this?)
We often interpret trouble as something that is in our way, impeding our progress toward an earthly promotion. But it is more likely to be part of our heavenly promotion package. It is part of our strengthening, growing, learning, and becoming what He intended for us all along.
My first reaction towards the Teacher during a “swimming lesson” is rarely thankfulness for the opportunity to learn. It is usually more like a five year old throwing a tantrum:
“You KNOW I can’t swim! Why did you throw me in the water? You are big, I am helpless, that was mean. Don’t ever do that to me again*!” (*sticking out my tongue for emphasis)
If you are struggling today, consider it a notice of promotion. He is up to something, and He is happy about it because He can see the end result.
You’ll be doing laps in no time.