A friend of mine told me recently, "my wife has been doing Pilates, and her abs are like a six-pack!" I replied, "I haven't done a thing, and mine looks like a keg".
Whether physical or spiritual, to have a 'chiseled' body or spirit, it has to be exercised. Exercise can either be willfully planned or executed, or ….! Spiritual trials are those exercises we choose to plan and execute out of a relationship with God, and/or situations of life, we find ourselves in, and respond to out of spiritual fruit, character, and grace. Unplanned spiritual trials come not of our choosing, but by a myriad of possible reasons. Often we find ourselves in situations that require a power greater than ourselves. Daily deepening devotions are just one example of willful choice to place one's self in a trial of faith, and grow, and develop 'chiseled abs'. Responding in a Christ like manner to any number of negative or disappointing interactions is an example of those trials we don't plan or choose. Both are part of the follower of Christ's life of trials, and both bring the follower a chiseled spiritual life.
Today is an anniversary, of a terrorist planned attack upon the United States. There are differences between an outright attack and a trial, and maybe tomorrow, we can think about the difference.
Lord, your plans for us are always good, wonderful and abundant. Help us respond to the various trials of life with your goodness, your wonderful attitude and abundant grace. We humbly ask for peace on earth and good will towards all mankind.