Have you ever heard someone say, “adversity builds character?” I have! I think if most of us had a choice we would avoid the hard things in life. That seems to be our nature as human beings. Avoid conflict and difficult situations. I mean, we just want to be happy right? ….As I’m writing that I’m thinking, I don’t believe that at all….
It has been my experience that God knows more than me and He sees that whole picture. He’s the one that knows the beginning from the end and what I do know is that even in the hard things there’s purpose. I do not believe God sits in Heaven watching us stumble through life and just enjoys the show. As if were some real life Lifetime special. I understand God to be completely invested in me and my future. You know, that’s probably because I have had to really completely and totally rely on God at different points in my life where it seemed like what was happening made no sense and that surely God would have a reason to allow me to be going through this particular situation at this particular moment.
It has taken some years and some adversity for me to completely see that even during the junk that happens in life God desires to use it for my benefit. Maybe not right now, but in my future.
I remember when we first moved to Michigan and we were trying to make some friend connections in the area God placed a woman in my life who’s mom was battling cancer. What you need to know is that just a year and a half before that, my mom met her final reward in Heaven (seems like I miss her more as the years pass). I remember thinking “What are you doing God? Already?” I wasn’t sure I was ready to walk with someone through this process, but it seemed God had other plans. As usual… It felt like it was to soon, to soon to share my experience, to soon to be open with someone else about the pain, to soon to use the grief. How in the world was I going to be strong enough to do this? To be available to listen and be present emotionally.
I’m certain I could have done more to help, but I commited to being a friend during this time and to make myself available in what ever way I could to this friend. It didn’t take long before I could see exactly why God had placed us together for this season. God wanted to use this hard thing in my life. He wanted to make it a testimony of His faithfulness and I just had to be open and willing to allow Him to do what he wanted to do. Her mother may have lost her battle with cancer, but she won victory in Heaven! Praise the Lord!!
Your hard things are not just for you to suffer through. Your life can be a testimony, a reflection to the world of God’s goodness and love, His compassion and grace. But you decide what story your life will tell. I can guarantee you, we were not put here to just suffer and seek happiness or to try to avoid hard things at all costs. We were put here on this earth for a much greater purpose. The hard things are neccessary! We need to experience adversity. I’m not saying we should create it in our lives or go looking for it, but when it comes, and it will, we should face it head on. Hard things build our arsenal of weaponry for the next battle. It builds our story, our testimony. It becomes part of who we were created to be. Hard things prepare us for the next battle, because there will be a next battle. It’s not if, but when. We were not created to float through life on a white puff cloud. God has given us all we need to walk through the hard things. Begin to look at your life and see how God wants to use your story to encourage others. And remember, you survived that hard thing so you’ll be more armed and ready for the next “hard thing.”
I must share this…. This so wasn’t the direction I thought I was going to go with this post….I was planning to talk about all the seeds we planted a few months ago and how they have grown and been on a protected environment and that it was time the let them face a little adversity. It’s a process called, hardening off.
Hardening off is exposing the plants a little at a time to the outside environment a few hours a day until their roots have strenghtened and the plant can withstand the uncontrolled winds and temperatures.
That process helped me to understand that we need hard things. It makes us stronger so that we can with stand what comes our way. One hard thing at a time…