Growing despite the obstacles
A lifetime of observation, Bible reading and prayer has led to the conclusion that the only thing that can hinder a Christian’s progress is the Christian himself.
The true child of God can live and grow in circumstances that are wholly unfavorable to such life and growth. Outward circumstances can help little or none in a Christian’s spiritual life. The whole philosophy of the spiritual way requires us to believe this.
For this reason, it is always bad to blame anyone or anything for our spiritual or moral failures. God has so ordered things that His children may grow as successfully in the middle of a desert as in the most fruitful land. It is necessary that this should be so, seeing that the very world itself is a field where nothing good can grow except by some kind of miracle. The old hymn asks the rhetorical question, “Is this vile world a friend to grace, to help me on to God?” And the implied answer is no. Grace operates without the help of the world.