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The "Tribulation" of a Leaky Ceiling

Friday, June 7, 2019

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“Those speak foolishly who ascribe their anger or their impatience to such as offend them or to tribulation. Tribulation does not make people impatient, but proves that they are impatient. So everyone may learn from tribulation how his heart is constituted.” - Martin Luther

Last Sunday, I arrived home to find the ceiling in my bedroom leaking. The next day, I spoke with my upstairs neighbor, and we quickly realized our problem was with his faulty air conditioner. He told me it was fifteen years old and he had planned to replace it. Unfortunately for me, he waited too long.

One bit of good news to this story is that we are both owners and have our homes insured. Understanding his responsibility in the matter, he quickly called a repair company, and an estimator was able to come out and inspect the damage. Both of our insurance providers are involved, and we hope to have this problem reconciled in the near future.

Still, at the moment, I have two huge drying machines in my bedroom. They have been running for the past five days and made the room virtually inaccessible. My couch has become my bed, and my home is not as neat and tidy as I would have it be. Honestly, my patience is running thin.

But let us try to keep perspective. Just how great is my “suffering”? I don’t believe you can even call it tribulation. A leaking ceiling and a few nights on the couch are more appropriately categorized as an inconvenience. My neighbor has been pleasant in resolving the issue, our homes are insured, and my house will be back to normal in a relatively short amount of time.

Consequently, it would be more beneficial for me to reflect upon myself than to dwell on the problem. As Martin Luther wrote, my impatience or anger is not caused, but rather revealed, by a leaking ceiling. Romans 12:12 says, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Ecclesiastes 7:9 states, “Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools.”

Instead, I should use this as an opportunity to show Christ’s love. Ephesians 4:2 reads, “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.” I Corinthians 13 describes love as both patient and kind. Even in trial, specifically in trial, this is how we are to act.

“A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.” Proverbs 15:18 ESV

- Christopher Glading, Director of Programs and Publicity

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