Life is hard sometimes. We face obstacles in our path that stop our progress, hold us back, even harm us sometimes. What if those obstacles were NOT the enemy that we thought they were? What if overcoming those hardships was actually the very point of it all?
“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”– Marcus Aurelius
We need to view hardship as an opportunity.
“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”– Napoleon Hill
Sometimes, we know the reason for our adversity.
The question of WHY is always running through our heads and hearts when things get hard.
It’s okay to look for that. Sometimes, the answer is that we are foolish. Our own stupid choices may have caused our hardship. Sometimes, the hardship may be the result of injustice, or someone else’s bad decisions. The answer to WHY can be helpful sometimes for us to avoiding the same hardship in the future.
For example, if I eat Taco Bell at 9PM and get the runs at midnight, i can curse the adversity of the runs, or I can learn from the situation.
Sometimes we do not know the reason for our adversity.
There are times that despite our best efforts to decode or understand, the hardship before us is impossible to decipher. We look for someone to blame or hold accountable, or a way that we can avoid similar hardships in the future, but answers elude us.
It’s in these moments that we have to remember that the purpose of our suffering or the purpose of our obstacle may not be an intentionally, cosmic or divinely ordained moment, but rather a natural progression in life. Hardship will always come. That’s the way of it.
We often look at life as a force that throws things at us… we blame life, or God, or the Devil, or “the system” or whatever malevolent entity we chose.
Maybe our perspective is jaded. Maybe it’s not that bad things are handed to us to hurt us. Maybe the truth of life is that SOME challenges come our way so that we can be strengthened as we overcome them?
The right question about hardship is, how can this strengthen me?
We must learn to view hardship as an opportunity for growth. An opportunity for something great to happen. That’s not so hard when it’s an easier hardship. That’s really hard when it’s accompanied with great loss and pain.
But the truth is that is the human condition. We are all living in a broken world, where broken things happen. Since the beginning of time, when sin and brokenness entered the world, perfection was broken, and broken things happen. Redemption is what happens when we allow the brokenness to be overcome.
– William Arthur Ward
“Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records.”
– Bob Riley
“Hard times don’t create heroes. It is during the hard times when the “hero” within us is revealed.”
The secret to overcoming adversity is in not avoiding the hardship, but in facing it.
And in some cases, embracing it. Surely, there are some needless hardships that we can avoid by making better decisions – that in fact is the very nature of getting stronger in the face of adversity, in that we learn from the consequences of our mistakes. But for most hardship, enduring it, solving it, learning to bear it, learning to get help when we should, becoming strong – this is what we are supposed to do. If we avoid it – we never learn these things. We never grow. We never thrive. We never WIN.
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