Friday, January 06, 2006


When the going gets tough, the tough gets going

While walking home from school one day, my son (then 6 years old) started to throw tantrums. He wanted us to take a ride for a 100-meter stretch from where we got off. I gently reminded him that we often took that path and at times, we would even walk longer. But instead of listening, he started to grumble and stump his feet.

The incident with my son reminded me of the attitude of a lot of us grown-ups, when faced with life's difficulties. Instead of counting our blessings, we tend to fret when we do not get what we want or when things do not turn out as we expected. Instead of looking at difficult circumstances as challenges that could make us stronger, we take these as burdens that we do not deserve.

The Apostle Paul tells us that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). Thus, no matter how difficult our circumstances may be, we can rely on God's promise that He will work for our good.

There are times in our lives when we do not understand the difficulties we face. At times, they can be so great we feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders. But sufferings happen for different reasons. Sometimes, they are consequences of the wrong decisions we make. At times though, they happen simply because the ultimate deceiver, Satan, is pushing us to give up our faith in God.

Yet, after each suffering lessons are learned. Apostle Paul even tells us that we should rejoice in our sufferings because suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

When he wrote the letter to the Romans, Apostle Paul knew what he was talking about. He was imprisoned and bound by chains. Yet, he did not look at his circumstances. He knew that something good would come out of it. And he encouraged the early Christians to have the same attitude. We should all have the same attitude.

Paul knew that through sufferings, we grow in spiritual maturity. Trials produces perseverance in us, it molds our character and brings us closer to God. It also builds up our hope in Him knowing that He will never leave us nor forsake us.

Instead of fretting, let us humble ourselves before God to ask for His help, to seek His guidance and strength in enduring all the hardships. We must not let our circumstances become stumbling blocks, rather we must make them as stepping stones towards a more meaningful life with and for God.

Have a more meaningful New Year!

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