Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny. — C. S. Lewis
I know so many people who are struggling … people close to my heart and some not so close. I’ve noticed, from my own experience, that what exacerbates the problem is looking around at others and thinking, “Why me?”
I’m not sure when I adopted the notion that life is supposed to be problem free, but it obviously crept into my psyche somewhere along the line. Maybe it’s from all of the books I lost myself in when I was growing up, or perhaps it’s the movies I escape into when I want to remove myself from the cold, hard realities of life. Somehow in the process my mind skipped over the hardships and only remembered the happy endings.
I know what it’s like to feel hopeless, frustrated, all alone. I know what it’s like to feel that no one cares, that no one understands. It’s hard to get out of the rut. It’s hard to think differently when everything you know is screaming, “Failure!” It’s hard to get past the voices of Doom and Gloom whispering in your ears. Spending time with Harry Potter or Frodo relieves my momentary fear and paralysis and makes me think that I, too, can overcome my current struggle.
I recently sent the daughter of a dear friend of mine a poem called “Don’t Quit”. You can find it here. I decided it might be a good thing to send my own children, who are facing some tough realities of their own (aka how to afford college when they can’t take out student loans without a parent’s cosignature).
Here’s the thing, though… I’ve learned throughout all of this that there is one thing you can bank on. Satan desires nothing more than to drag us down, to lose our focus, to make us feel intimidated/inferior/not good enough. Drown his voice out. He is full of smoke and hot air!
Don’t waste your energy looking at the people around you. They are not running YOUR race. YOU are. They have their own obstacles to overcome. Focus on your race. Stay grounded. Other people don’t matter in the big huge scheme of things. What matters is you and God … that’s it. His plans for your life. The purpose He created you for.
Keep the faith…
Father … when life gets just too darn hard to bear, help us to remember that struggle is preparation for something down the road. It is strengthening us and building our spiritual muscle. You have a plan for each of us. We may not see it fully; but if we continue to trust in You, it will eventually become known, sometimes in the most surprising way. Keep us strong. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.