Have you ever noticed that when things become settled in your life, God tends to toss you a big curve ball? You may find yourself facing a family crisis. You may lose a highly valued employee to a better opportunity. Or perhaps you find yourself a victim of a corporate right-sizing effort.
Recently, I got the chance to remind myself that I need to follow my own advice when facing adversity. What follows is an article I wrote a couple of years ago. It helped me in dealing with unforseen changes in my life over the past few weeks. It is my hope that it might help you too when you are faced with your own adversity.
I am a big collector of quotes and from time to time I like to think I come up with words worthy of repeating. In the midst of personal adversity I often remember, “Instead of asking, why me? I need to say, please let me see!” Below might be some reasons you’ll “see” if you take a minute to look around when you find yourself in trying times:
It builds character – You learn more about others – and yourself – when the going gets rough. It’s far too easy to be at your best when the things are going your way. But it’s a whole new ballgame when you are up against something. When facing hardships, your real character is tested and strengthened. It is during a hard time that you learn about things like humility, determination and grit. It is when your back is against a wall that you learn to turn to faith. And it is when you feel like you may lose it all that you learn to survive.
It helps you appreciate the good times – If life were always a bed of roses, how could you appreciate the roses? You would soon forget to notice their beauty and lovely scent, as you would get too used to having them. And it is the same with various aspects of your life. If you always got what you wanted and when you wanted it, you would become easily bored. And you would also become far too self-reliant. Adversity helps us appreciate the blessings and good times we do have. It’s during tough times that families often grow closer together, as they learn to lean on one another. It’s when challenges arrive that you can clearly see the good things in your life, your marriage or your career.
It provides balance – Finally, adversity provides balance in your life. Without some bad to go along with the good, your senses would be completely dulled. You would quickly become bored. You would not have things to work through or dreams to aspire toward. Adversity helps balance your emotional life, as it provides the necessary opposite to great joy. It keeps life from being flat. It forces you out of your comfort zone. And it keeps you from feeling like the walking dead.
“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”