Adversities and Obstacles: How they can shape us as a person and how we can only get through them with God…
I read a short poem book called the ‘Strength in our Scars’ by Bianca Sparacino. I mean, the title says it all. Our scars have strength, what we go through, good or bad, it ALL has strength. The book talks about not giving up, it talks about focusing on ourselves, loving ourselves, knowing our worth, being happy with exactly what we have, for what we have is enough, being kind and showing kindness to strangers…is that not what God wants from us? And when we think we can’t stand it anymore, we shouldn’t sit, we should kneel. When we don’t understand, we should kneel, and pray. And that is what happens when we go through things we humanly are not able to comprehend.
But as it is said in John 13: 7: Jesus answered and said unto him, what I do you know not now; but you shall know hereafter. Jesus is saying to us: yes there will be many times where you will not understand, but He is promising us later, we will understand and this is asking of us to trust and have faith in Him. We learn from the things we go through, we become more faithful from them. We have been assured more than once that God will use us for good. He has a purpose for us, therefore the obstacles (or what we see as obstacles) are for good. That tough day at work, with THAT colleague, there is a purpose in that. That disagreement with a spouse or a friend, there is a purpose in that. That job or whatever it is in life that you are going for over and over again and can’t seem to get, there is a purpose in that. It is only when we spend time with God, when time has passed, when we reflect that we are able to see all that we have gone through and think ‘wow, it was only with the grace of God that we were able to have gotten through that’. God simply wants us to have faith and be patient.
Now there are many figures from the Bible, that we can learn from their stories and how they overcome adversity and always, no matter what, return to God. Taking David as an example of someone who went through so much; he overcame Goliath and showed incredible patience when it came to King Saul. But David wasn’t perfect, he like us was guilty of sin and broke God’s commands. But when confronted for his actions, he repented and confessed that sin. So like David, we will have our Goliath’s and we will have our King Saul’s; the battles that we cannot begin to think that we will overcome, we immediately see it and think, that is too big for me to handle…we think…we cannot possibly overcome it. The issue here is the ‘we’ – we are thinking about our ability to overcome, and our ability to handle things, and limiting what we can carry.
Proverbs 3:5 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. God carries these burdens with us….it might seem unnatural to thank God for the adversities we have faced and the obstacles we have endured…but again through this verse in Proverbs, He is telling us that we don’t need to have all the answers, He does, we don’t need to carry it all, He carries it with us. He wants our trust and our faith. Thank God for our scars, for they are a reminder of what we (with God) were able to endure.
From St Anthony the Great: “For it is absurd to be grateful to doctors who give us bitter and unpleasant medicines to cure our bodies, and yet to be ungrateful to God for what appears to us to be harsh, not grasping that all we encounter is for our benefit and in accordance with His providence. For knowledge of God and faith in Him is the salvation and perfection of the soul.”