Every now and then life throws us some lemons and many times – we hate that we have to go through it. Who likes adversity and sufferings anyway? But I can count the many times I have been experiencing difficulties in life.
I remember growing up living in a rented house. That meant that every so often we would move from one house to another. It always meant saying goodbye to neighbors and friends and saying hello to new ones. Though this meant re-adjusting again and meeting new friends, the Lord meant it for good training for me. It made me a person who became flexible, willing to try new things and be very low maintenance. This also without a doubt made me have so many friends in different places.
In college, I understood that if I wanted to finish school I needed to work. So as early as 1st year college I was a working student. I was not the typical student in University. I needed to work so I could pay for tuition, have money for daily expenses and to buy materials for projects. I tried all kinds of part time jobs: DJ in radio stations, sales executive selling internet cards/services, voice over talent, trader for overrun goods. My friends remembered me bringing a selling a sack full of shoes in school. Was this hard? Yes! It was very hard. But again, I am so thankful to the Lord that he made it hard. I would not have any other way. Looking back, God was grooming me to be an entrepreneur.
Trials are very good for us. This is one of the tools that God uses to mold our character. When hard times knock have you noticed how you become more prayerful? Trials makes us realize that apart from God we are a mess. In difficult moments, lots of life lessons are learned. You learn the most important things in life. You learn to depend on God for everything. You learn to wait. You learn about true treasures and real joy. Trials actually deepens and strengthens our faith in God.
That is why I welcome trials to be a teacher to my kids. Mini crisis helps my kids learn about actions and consequences, learn how to problem solve and ultimately earn values and character.
John planned an out of the country trip for the whole family for his birthday. Our eldest daughter upon discovering this, asked if she could rebook the flight a day before so that she can catch a class. John was convincing her to negotiate with her professor to give her a make-up class instead. Since she stood her ground of wanting to leave earlier – John granted it by purchasing another ticket. That week went so well until… she woke up late for her morning flight. The decision to savor the city by strolling around till midnight despite knowing her flight was also early was not a wise one. She knocked on our door – panicking and crying inconsolably. All I could do was calm her down and get her to process what her options were. We agreed that she could try to take a cab to the airport but it won’t guarantee her to make it to her flight. I reminded her that worst case scenario would be – that she really misses her class and fly back with us with her original ticket. She decided to try her luck. Upon arriving at the airport, she discovered that she already missed her flight. In her desperation to go home, she makes an outrageous decision of taking the next flight at her own expense. But to make matters worse that flight was delayed by 4 hours to which she eventually missed her class. She was texting me “Why is God doing this to me?” I told her God did not want this – but there are good lessons on responsibility and time management she can learn. On that same school week, she misplaced her ID and got caught having a unique color on her hair. Those 2 separate circumstance made her miss her classes. She was already complaining to me why it had to be a hard week for her. She was financially drained and was exhausted lining up and paying for a new ID. Since her hair had color, she had to go to a parlor to color it black or else never get to enter campus for class. It really was a tough week for her but little did she know, it has been a character building week for her. As she went through the storm – she wrestled with God and ultimately she surrendered and trusted Him to be in control. I personally believe she still came out a winner. Today Jazz knows the importance of time. She is extra responsible and she has learned to obey and follow authority. I believe those circumstances were her best teachers to help her grow in that area.
Matthew just recently forgot his laptop bag in the lobby of his swimming class. He did not realize it till he got home. He was freaking out when he found out it was not in the car. He was due to have a portfolio presentation and it was all in that laptop. We did not reprimand him, instead we encouraged him to pray. He surrendered his worries and fears to the Lord that night and we decided to sleep it off. The next morning, the laptop was found in the sofa of the lobby, untouched. He was so happy, it led him to thank God. He is now extra careful with his things. He has also become more prayerful.
Are you going through something today?
It could be anything such as work struggles, relationship issues, financial problems, health battles, life crisis. What is more important is where you put your focus on. Many times we just look at the problem and drown in its pain. May I suggest instead of getting angry and complaining, humbly ask God “What are you teaching me, Lord?”
Every trial has hidden blessings. If you want it, you need to be willing to grow and undergo the process. There are no short cuts. But you can be assured of a memorable journey.
James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.