I am ready for 2017. Because God is already in it. I can’t wait to uncover what He has in store for me this year..
An old friend used to tell me life is all about two things – to experience happiness and escape pain. While I don’t fully agree on what he said, it kept me pondering why we have the natural tendency to avoid hardships. Problems are always perceived equal to loneliness and hopelessness and much of our actions are geared towards avoiding adversity. But who escapes life unscathed, anyway? Yet, beautiful things arise from difficulties. There are treasures in trials. Here are some realizations I have towards meeting adversities:
- You discover things about yourself that only a problem can trigger. Like the fact that you are more resilient than you thought. You also realize you have more capacity to solve problems and you discover a higher level of intelligence you never knew existed. You somehow realize the vast greatness inside of you.
- You gain wisdom only a problem can unearth. So the next time you face another difficulty, you can look back and apply those nuggets of wisdom.
- You grow in character. Your attitude towards adversity improves to the point that when a problem approaches, you are somehow excited for it. You know breakthroughs normally comes after.
- You develop a life testimony that can encourage and motivate people who are in the same dilemma. You develop compassion for people because you have felt what they are feeling and experienced what they are going through.
- You are more prepared with the next level of assignment God has prepared for you.
- While you realize you are able to face difficulties more than ever, you also find out there are a lot of things beyond your control to which only God can solve. You learn to let go.
Everything that happens, God allows for a reason. We can never truly escape pain but take heart! Even through the trials, God is still good and has never stopped being faithful.
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”
-Romans 5:3-4, English Standard Version (ESV)
I, my father and two sisters would go in our home in Batangas every Friday night, and our 5-year old youngest brother, Miggy would always request for pasalubong without fail. His requests range from kiddie chocolates to toys and hero apparel depending on his mood and current cartoon show craze he’s in. Two weeks ago, his request was the “Cars” toys in various sizes and colors. The “kuripot” in me of course can’t afford to give him a pasalubong as expensive as that so I opted to buy a “Cars” school supplies that my sister and I bought in Divi. I thought he would like it since he loves drawing and coloring but I was wrong. When he received it, he frowned and complained endlessly and was even furious at me for not following his instructions. My younger sister Buchik has this conversation with Miggy:
Buchik: Hindi ka pa magpasalamat at binigyan ka ng pasalubong.
Miggy: Hindi talaga ako magpapasalamat dahil di naman binigay saken ang ibinilin ko.
This situation makes me think of how it reflects my heart most of time, too. I pray and ask for specific things and sometimes, God will give another. It is not because God is “kuripot” like me. No, he owns the universe. But Him, in His infinite wisdom knows the best gift to give us. It could be because what we ask for will be harmful for us or we’re not yet ready for the blessing. It is in those instances that we forget to be grateful. We sulk and wail like a child for what we don’t have that we miss out on appreciating what we have. What’s worse is when this leads to comparison. Comparison breeds discontentment. Discontentment steals happiness.
Oh, the wonders giving thanks can do. To give thanks in all circumstances and in every gift we receive. To shift focus from what we lack to the abundance we already experience. To be contented with what we have while working and praying for our dreams.
These things we already know but take for granted most of the time. May we maintain a grateful heart everyday of our lives.
“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” – James 1:17 NASB