Could it be that it is God Himself who brings about the “winter of our discontent”, the collapse of our joy in the work of our hands?

Is it possible that sometimes He must do this, so as to wrench us away from our myopic concentration on our own perceived ability to please Him?  Perhaps it is God, trying actively to change us, as if He were behind the curtain of our life-stage, working to throw off our lines and upset our performance.  Perhaps He must do this because He knows that as long as our happiness remains rooted in our own accomplishments, instead of in a single-focused acceptance of His acceptance of us as poor servants, we will never truly be free to find and know either our greatest joy, or our fullest service.

Perhaps it is not so much a test of our strength to be endured, as much as a reorienting of our character to be embraced.  Like the fresh harvested coffee beans must be roasted, not to harm or even change their essence, but to draw out the fullness of the beauty of what they can truly be, so it is that when our cries of repentance bring no answer, and our search for a blamable oppressor yields no fruit, it may be direct Divine intervention that is simply molding us through the dark mysteries of our unknown hearts; the Potter, simply delighting in His clay, as He shapes it into a form of beauty whose ultimate shape only He can see.