Our son Simeon says that faith is summed up in something he calls the “Nazareth principle”. This refers to the question in the New Testament where someone scoffs at Jesus the carpenter by asking, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
The idea was that Nazareth was a city, in the region of Galilee, which was known for its “mixed-blood” and therefore suspect practice of Judaism. Because the carpenter/prophet came from Nazareth, didn’t that disqualify him from being the real thing?
Yet as Simeon says, in life — time after time — the best things come from the unlikeliest places. And this “Nazareth principle” extends to the fact that out of trouble and wounds, disappointments and closed doors, come often the actual breakthroughs of personal life.
I am constantly amazed at the areas of our life that grace unexpectedly comes from, and the people that I don’t expect to be grace-filled that are so.
This could be helpful in coping with trauma and difficulty. It’s not about ascribing meaning to suffering; it’s not about believing God has a plan and pain is part of the plan; it’s about finding “what good can I find?” in the midst of pain and transition, and what unexpected breakthrough might come from it?