As in golf, life is full of hazards, and our balls do not always land on the fairway. Sometimes we are "in the rough" because of misfortune or our own wrong decisions and moral failures. No one likes being in the rough. When we find ourselves there we may utter expletives and be filled with discouragement and self-recrimination, but we also should rejoice for there is a good side to being in the rough on life's course.
Just look at what made Heaven's broadcast, Holy Scripture. . There would scarcely be any Bible at all if we tore out all the stories of people whose lives were in the rough. The Bible contains almost nothing but such stories---the Hebrews in slavery, Job overwhelmed by tragedy, the woman caught in adultery, Peter denying his Lord. These stories are there because God's power is demonstrated in the rough.
Thus we find Paul rejoicing in the rough spots of his life.. When he asked God to deliver him from a "thorn" in his flesh, God would not do it. God's answer was, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." There in life's rough Paul rejoiced. He declared, "So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me." (II Corinthians 12:9-10).
At another point, Paul almost sounds as if he is rejoicing in the abundance of sin because it provides an opportunity to reveal the even greater abundance of God's grace. He recognizes the possibility of his being misunderstood and hastens to add, "What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? By no means!" (Romans 6:1-2). But nevertheless the point is there. Our moral failures can even serve to demonstrate the greater abundance of God's grace. In that we can rejoice, even though our attitude toward our own sin should be predominantly one of sorrow and repentance.
So the next time you find your ball in life's rough---Rejoice! There is an opportunity for God's power to be revealed in you! One of life's and God's great recovery shots may be at hand!
©1998 C. David Hess