The lotus is an exquisite flower that grows from the mud. The deeper and thicker the mud, the more beautiful the lotus blooms. The greatest oaks take the longest to grow.
I recently told a beloved relative, who is going through tremendously stressful and physically painful times and has been, for some time, that, since God promised that we will not be tested beyond that which we are able to bear, the depth of her suffering is inversely proportionate of the height of her spiritual strength; she would not be faced with that huge burden were she not equipped to handle it. Her suffering is a compliment to her spiritual growth.
You are being prepared. What for?
“Not now, but in the coming years;
It may be in the better land
We’ll see the meaning of our tears,
And then, some day, we’ll understand.”
~ Maxell Cornelius.
Tempering is a heat treatment technique applied to ferrous alloys, such as steel or cast iron, to achieve greater toughness by decreasing the hardness of the alloy. Tempering is used to alter hardness, ductility, toughness, strength, and structural stability. Going through the fire? There is a purpose. Handle it correctly, and you will come out stronger and more resilient, better prepared to handle any challenge – like steel.
Remember the story of Job in the Bible? The devil asked God for permission to tempt him each time, and God gave permission, with certain limits. Here are the two lessons:
- The devil was not allowed to give Job more suffering that he could handle.
- During his worst time, Job said, “Even if He kills me, I will hope in Him.” Job remained true to his God, steadfast. He did not quit. He passed the test.
- After his hardships, we read, “The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part.” He was generously rewarded for his faithfulness.
Finally, we don’t need to understand how or why we suffer, or blame, complain, shame, or feel sorry for ourselves. By focusing on the next five minutes, the here and now, we can cope a lot more easily. Trust God: there is a purpose.
It’s not the difficulties we have to deal with/the hand we are dealt – it’s the stories we tell ourselves about our circumstances and how we choose to react that makes all the difference.
Robin Elliott IPS Safety Inc.