I’ve been reading a book called GOD IS IN THE HARD STUFF by Bruce & Stan. The tagline reads: Where to turn when the going gets tough.
Sounds like a roadmap to happiness. It sold me.
One of the chapters outlined a handful of beatitudes. Here’s my rendition:
Patience: Staying calm without complaining even when the immediate need is urgent but the solution is not yet a reality. Unfortunately, patience is bred in desperate times.
Endurance: A learned ability to bear prolonged pain or hardship. Prosperity is enjoyed and adversity is endured. Thus, the birth of endurance is misfortune or tragedy.
Forgiveness: Graciously excusing an offense committed against us. You can’t have a chance to forgive if everyone is nice and polite to you. Someone has to hurt you to forgive them.
Integrity: Sticking to your moral principles no matter what. Integrity is forged in the furnace of criticism and circumstances.
Honesty: Being truthful when it is unpopular. You develop honesty only in those tough times when it would much easier to avoid the truth.
These are definitely personality traits I desire to possess. For many years, I innocently prayed to be strong in the fruits of the spirit. My prayers went something like this: Heavenly Father, Leader of my Life, bless me with patience and integrity. Mold me into a strong person with an even stronger moral compass. Amen
Yikes!!!!! What was I thinking? If you analyze what I was praying for, no wonder I feel like I’m in the midst of a storm. The difficult issues I’m currently facing are exactly what I prayed for – circumstances that build character.
Perhaps the traumas we live through are the very instruments God uses to lift us from being ordinary, routine people to become extraordinarily gifted ones. Perhaps it’s those very things that have hurt us in the past that now enable us to reach out to others. I’m embracing the fact that God may be blessing me with a deeper understand of His love.