Life is hard, we know that. Sometimes we thrive, sometimes we fail and most of the time people on planet earth will suffer through something every day. I like to liken suffering to dragging myself up a hill because it creates a mental image about getting to the top of something. Bringing myself higher - closer to God. Because He's the one that's pushing me to become who I need to be.
Without obstacles in my way, I wouldn't be as creative or determined to find alternative paths. It keeps me on my toes but in a productive, long-term plan sort of way that doesn't feel pointless or silly.
I can literally track how I grow every time I overcome something. We all know that the breakthrough comes straight after the breakdown, and no-one knows that better than God. You need evidence? It's all in the bible, which is literally a compilation of His followers having faith in him through struggles, and attaining spiritual ascension that is necessary for them to move on and build on their heavenly aspirations.
It doesn't just lift us out of sin, though - to endure hardships. It's not just a punishment that is arbitrarily levied against us for the sins of humanity, but really the reflection and acceptance that none of us are perfect.
God is, but of course, we know that
It means that we don't need to hold ourselves to a huge standard that we can't achieve when God loves us just as we are. Sometimes, however, we need a little push to fully realize our potential that often surprises even us. Again, this is a testament to the power of God, and his mercy - even at times of hardship. For example, the death of loved ones, or the loss of a family pet, whatever - these may seem like tragedies and things that we may never recover from, but that's not the case. God reminds us that this isn't the end and that we'll see them again when the time comes.
God puts things into perspective just when I think I'm in control - I realize I am not, and nor do I need to be. In fact, isn't that how the saying goes? If you want to make God laugh, make a plan.
Maybe that was first penned by naysayers, but I still think it has value - we aren't meant to run the world. No-one needs the pressure and weight of expectations on their shoulders to such a degree - it's impossible. That's why only God has that power. It allows us to realize that the other hardships in our lives aren't actually that bad, or that permanent. We can power through a lot of that we last year or last week didn't think was possible. We can keep adding to and improving ourselves. We become resilient, emotionally robust, calm, able to lead and make sensible decisions - and often hard decisions or sacrifices.
We gain, above all else, knowledge of the world and of ourselves, as God wills
God pushes you because he cares. He - arguably more so than anyone - is rooting for you to survive and thrive and make it.
We all have something to give to this world, sometimes it just needs to be you unlocked or unearthed. But we have to work for it, we don't just get handed the key - we have to dig for it. Dig within ourselves, within society, within the morals that surround us, we have to find the right course of action.
After bereavement in families, we must all stick together as a unit and communicate and celebrate the loss. We console each other and ensure that the legacy of the lost ones lives on, through us. Doesn't that sound familiar, somehow?
Something about Jesus, maybe???
Hardships make us realize that we're all connected, but most importantly, that our heavenly ascent is only dependent on God - not material objects, work promotions, or toxic relationships. Ultimately, only God has a vision for us, but with time and work and faith we can all power through the hardships and become who we need to be.
It's only a matter of time, so hang tight through whatever personal struggles or demons you're fighting - it will be worth it in the end.
That, I can promise you.