I’ve been sharing some key ways of finding the good in the bad things we go through down here on planet earth. We do that by understanding that we couldn’t climb high and gain success if the mountain was as smoothe as glass. We do that by understanding that the more amazing the success, the more difficult the journey. And we do that by understanding that we are sometimes tested not to show our weakness, but to discover or even grow our strengths!
I don’t know about you, but the difficulties I’ve been through have given me the strength I needed to deal with what was coming down the road a bit. God prepares us. Body builders have to strengthen their muscles in order to life heavier weights. Gymnasts need to strengthen their bodies in order to do all the amazing tricks.
Just as athletes must strengthen their bodies, we must strengthen our minds and our resolve in order to do the work the Lord has for us. Just to face the growing difficulties of life on a fallen world, we need to strengthen our character, our resolve, and our mindsets.
Strength is something often admired, but most people have no idea what it took to get there. Building strength in an area often takes difficulties endured that often look like trials and hardships. But they yield some amazing fruit!!
So, last month I started by sharing how just by understanding that we couldn’t get to the successes or see the incredible view of the top of our mountain if we didn’t have rough terrain to climb. If the surface was as smooth as glass, we wouldn’t have anything to hang on to in order to get to the top. Knowing there is a purpose to difficult times like our experience in helping others, allows us to see the joy in a difficult time.
The second way we can find the joy inside the bad times is to know that very often our hardest times produce the most amazing fruit. The most important or amazing successes often take the most effort and sacrifice. It’s just how life is.
How much time would you devote to a book or movie about a three minute climb to the top of a small hill? How impressed would you be with the business owner who spent a few weekends a year to create another mediocre product that doesn’t work much better than all the others available on the market?
We may not always agree with the owners of large corporations with respect to their politics, but we do admire a good rags to riches story of how they sacrificed for their vision. We love seeing the grit it took to get to the Olympics. We love the Rocky movies that shared how, against all odds, Rocky Balboa overcame and went on to win in the next movie. We love the story about how Sylvester Stallone took that move idea all over to many in the film industry who said no and how he went on to make a bunch of Rocky movies in spite of all those nos!
The effort you are putting into your dreams or goals or health or life is admired by others who are inspired by your example. Don’t give up the hard path so easily. It’s often the hardest climbs that lift the most people up!
I’ve often been asked how I am able to find a way to focus on the joy in my life amidst the trials of life. I thought I’d take some time to share some of the more simple ways I’ve managed this. I’m not saying it’s easy. Just that it’s simple.
Since it’s often the case that those going through life’s difficulties have very little time, I thought I’d share just one per month for the next few months. Also, this gives you time to make it a habit you fit into your life among the other “stuff” you’re going through.
I recently saw a quote by Wintley Phipps that I think illustrates the most important concept of finding joy in the trials. Wintley said, “Son, if the mountain were smooth, you couldn’t climb it.” If you think about life that way, it almost makes you wish for the mountains in your life. We wouldn’t be able to rise above the muck and mire of the every day to do the extraordinary things that inspire and motivate others if we didn’t have our mountains to climb.
We wouldn’t be able to see the majestic view at the top of the mountains of life if we weren’t able to climb the rocky terrain to get up to the top. And lets face it, if you’re thinking we could always take a short cut and fly over the tops of the mountains and catch a glimpse of the view, you’re not taking into account the experience you give up by not climbing it for yourself.
What I’ve learned by climbing to the top of my mountains has helped my readers and friends and family get through their own difficulties. Not every difficulty is alike, but knowing a friend was able to get through the death of her son or an abusive relationship or an illness, helps me face what life throws at me…even if it isn’t exactly the same kind of issue.
Let’s face it, life is difficult down here on earth. We will graduate to a perfect life in heaven, but for now, aren’t we better off knowing our brothers and sisters have paved the way dealing with trials such that we can learn from their experience? Here’s another word of wisdom that sums up why: