Some of the best lessons we learn in our lives, come from something that was extremely difficult to get through. And some of those lessons seem to be ongoing. In hisOctober 2017 talk Stanley G. Ellis said, “Hard makes us stronger, humbles us, and gives us a chance to prove ourselves. Hard can be good!”
As I studied the words from his talk this weekend, I was taken back to many experiences that were extremely difficult at the time, but that now I can look back on and see the personal growth that came through or because of those experiences. I’m sure that you can too. But what can we do when we are in the midst of those hard times?
One of my favorite people ever, Zandra Vranes (I got to meet her personally in October this year), gave this wise counsel. “Rely on the lord, for only He can turn a mess into a message, a test into a testimony, a trial into a triumph, and whats broken into something beautiful.” I love that so much! And it reminded me once again of the scripture found in the Bible, Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, lean not unto thy own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Very many times in our lives we experience pain, suffering, hard trials, challenges, etc. that threaten to break us. But it is through our trust in the Lord that we can become strong. I know that there are people that will argue the statement “Things happen for a reason”, but I strongly believe that. We don’t always see and may never see it in this lifetime. But God does have a plan for us. It’s important to note that He does not make or intend for bad things to happen in our lives, but He is definitely there to pick us up and carry us along the way.
I also believe the fact that there are no coincidences. It seems that whenever I feel that all is lost, the Lord finds a way to remind me that He is always there and always will be even when it feels like he is not.
I believe that God is always working behind the scenes to build us and shape us. Are there things that happen that are horrible in this world and in our personal lives? Absolutely! And sometimes we see people go through challenges that may be completely unbearable. But if we are always putting a negative spin on things that happen in our lives, we will never truly be able to see the lessons we have or need to learn from our experiences. And sometimes (a lot of the time) we have those experiences so that we can empathize and have love for and help one another.
Again quoting from Stanely G. Ellis’ talk, “Do we trust His commandments to be for our good? His leaders, though imperfect, to lead us well? His promises to be sure? Do we trust that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ do know us and want to help us? Even in the midst of trials, challenges, and hard times, do we still trust Him?”
Hard is part of the plan. Think of a baby chick who has to break through the shell unassisted. A seed that has to break through the hard soil to grow into a beautiful tall tree. A butterfly who breaks free of the chrysalis that binds it. All of the examples from nature are a beautiful reminder that hard can be good!
I know it’s not easy especially in the midst of something hard, to think about it in a positive light. But if we can rely on the Lord, trust that He knows what the bigger picture is and then look to Him to help us get through the hard things, we may be able to see that there is a purpose after all.
Please know that you are never alone in your struggles. And if you ever feel like you are, please reach out. There are angels among us that are meant to help us through hard things. Please don’t suffer in silence. God is always there, even when we do not understand the whys.