We’ve had a lot of rain recently. As I write this I’m sitting in my living room looking outside at the grey skies. But as I lower my eyes from the clouds I can see the benefit of all this rain. Green. Green and more green. The grass is lush (and long…really must get the lawnmower out!) and the trees are so full of leaves they look ready to burst. Without all the rain we get in England it’d look like a very different place…nowhere near as beautiful.
And in life it’s often like this. Without the hard times we’ve experienced, we wouldn’t be who we are. “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our hope.” Romans 3:3-4. As a christian I have the assurance that God will look after me no matter what, that his plans for me are good, that even though the paths I walk down are not always easy he will not leave me to walk them alone. He is always with me, and he has put good people in my life who walk with me too. So really I may aswell, as the bible verse says actually rejoice in the hard times, because ultimately I know good will come. My character will be strengthened and lessons will be learned that will help me in the future.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think this means we should seek out hard times, or that we’re required to try and pretend we’re happy about yet another thing going wrong. But when I find myself in the desert or the rocky places, its about asking God to be with me, (which really is about reminding myself that he is, because he doesn’t need any persuading!) and deciding there and then that instead of worry and and whinging, I choose trust and peace. Trust that God has it all in hand, and peace that He’s with me all the way. Worrying doesn’t change the outcome of a situation anyway, it just makes it harder to go through.
Not as easy as it sounds, I know. And there are countless times in my life when I’ve not made this choice, and have paid the price. But the times when I have decided to trust God and look for the positives in the midst of the storm I have been totally amazed at the difference…There are aspects of my character that have been borne out of difficult times, like the fact that I don’t worry about money as much as I used to because when we had very little after our baby was born I chose to trust God that we would not run out. And how I’m taking the lesson of being more patient when life doesn’t go to my plans. And our feelings do eventually catch up with our thoughts, our decision to not worry eventually changes the emotion. But that’s where it starts – in the mouth / mind, when it “feels” impossible to be ok.
And whether you believe in this God who is in control and with us, or not – I’m pretty sure you’ll find you have a more calm state of mind / soul if you give it a go.
“If you want to see the rainbow, you have to put up with the rain”