Pain is inevitable, but misery is optional. We cannot avoid pain, but we can avoid joy. –Tim Hansel
OML Day 20: Earthquake – Building a Foundation That Lasts (supposed to have been Tuesday’s post)
I think the hardest lesson in life is learning how to accept loss. The loss of a job, your entire career, your parent, your spouse, your best friend, and the worst – your child.
I’m sure we have each faced at least one moment in our lives when our world was shaken to its very foundation. Our faith can be shaken to the core. We can allow those trials and painful losses to guide us to depend on God for comfort, peace, love and mercy, but sometimes we become angry and we resist him.
When bad things happen, and they will, it’s natural and easy to direct blame. It comforts us, if only temporarily, to find someone else to blame for our difficulties, our struggles, and God is the easiest to blame, since, ultimately, he’s in control of everything.
Over the years, I’ve put the blame on him for so many things. I was so angry and resentful toward him for so long for events that transpired during my earlier years. You wonder why a God that supposedly loves us can let this happen, or let that happen. God understands your frustration, anger, confusion, and your blame. He hurts when you hurt. He cries when you cry. And still we ask him why.
He never leaves us, no matter what we do.
God knows better than anyone what it feels like to be misunderstood, betrayed by a friend, rejected by his people, and to endure the heart-breaking loss of a child. We will all face problems, but we don’t have to be destroyed by them. I know for a fact, now, that every problem in life is a test. When you are in the midst of a struggle, you tend to lose sight of that. It’s at these times, we find what we are made of and what we have structured our lives upon. It’s great to have a solid foundation. It’s better to have a supernatural foundation, indestructible, and unshakeable.
Problems and difficulty are not the only tests. When we receive blessings, such as a child we’ve longed to have for years, these are tests, too. It’s just easier to say that everything in life that you will ever experience, good or bad, is a test. For the blessings, we are to thank him and share with the world to make others better for them. We are to pay blessings forward. Bless others. For the blessing of a child, you can thank God and raise that child to make a positive difference in the world, to go out into the world and make a positive difference in the lives of others, the community, to live for the purpose of making God smile, by teaching them to use their gifts God gave to them.
It’s not about how much of the Bible you know, either. It’s about living out his truth on a daily basis. When you exercise faith daily and you pray and learn more about God, the stronger you will be when trouble comes. How strong is your faith? It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or what you are even doing now. You can change everything about your life and who you are. All you have to do is give up what’s tearing you down, take God’s hand and walk with him.
God uses struggle for strength training: to build your strength and endurance and character. Walking with God isn’t always easy, but if you want to still be standing when the storms come through and tear everything else apart, God is all the strength and shelter you need. Faith is knowing that he’s got it all under control and everything is going to be ok. Faith is not worrying. He’s got your back and he knows it. Faith is your knowing it.
First, you have God at the center of everything – your marriage, your business, your home, your family, your finances, everything.
Second, love your neighbor as yourself. It all comes back to the Golden Rule that we all should have learned in Kindergarten: Treat all others the same way you wish to be treated. Only God and yourself can bring your life real happiness, purpose and meaning. When you put God first in all that you do, there is nothing you cannot do.
Third, have a human support system – those friends and family members who come in to lift you up when everything is falling to the ground. In times of struggle and darkness, you find who your true friends are.
Make it a fabulous Wednesday. Wow, the week is flying. Love ya! *hug*