Have you ever welcomed adversity or difficulty because you knew that it was making you stronger? I mean really welcomed it, not just responded to it with a cliché in order to make yourself feel better but really pretty miserable on the inside? Then, in the adjusted circumstances, hung out content and even thankful for your new, fresh perspective and looked for the difference in how you view things through the new lens? Here is a tougher question . . . could you seriously say “bring it on” to difficulty that hasn’t fully manifested the totality of it’s threat knowing that you would gain so much deep inside your soul that you are willing and even eager to face the storm?
My wife and I have been through a lot in the last year and our circumstances are drastically different from what they used to be and there has been a consistent effort to find the benefit no matter what the detriment. We seek to glory in our humble circumstances and sometimes come pretty close. Maybe even most of the time we get it pretty close but here is the total truth; there are plenty of times that we long for what we used to have, the comfort of the known and good vs. the discomfort of the new and different. Sometimes, like last night, it keeps me up at night and I’m not proud of that. I know that I’ve grown in wisdom and depth through the difficult year and I truly welcome that growth. At the same time, I sure would like to get beyond the challenge for some good old comfort and don’t think I would have picked the challenge before I found myself in the middle of it just for the sake of wisdom and maturity.
We all want wisdom and want to be seen as wise by others but wisdom isn’t free; it comes on the back side of trials. What’s more than that, it comes on the back side of perseverance through trials. So the trials come and then we have to persevere through them and the very nature of the word “perseverance” means that it’s going to last a while. Then, and it’s more gradual than we’d like, we are wiser for it. Take a short cut and not only do we lose the value of the lesson in the circumstances but maybe we will have to face that trial at some point down the road (not necessarily a law like gravity but a possible element of the nature of how things work?). We can also avoid many trials through selfishness and other coping mechanisms but the cost of that avoidance is often shallow immaturity with minimal wisdom.
So I am thankful today for my blessings and for my trials as they are both sustaining me as I grow into who I am created to be. I walk in greater realization of who I am and who I am not because of things that I have failed at as much as things that I have accomplished. My wife and I are in agreement that for this time, this season, we just don’t want to miss “it” with “it” being the lesson in the circumstances . . . in fact, the very voice of God in the middle of the trial that leads us to wisdom which we then seek to pass on as we walk through life with others.