Today I went about my business. Studying like mad for an exam that had me all worked up. I finally took the test and well it just wasn’t worth being worked up about. You’d think that I would have learned this lesson by now.
As I was driving home after the test, still feeling quite crappy actually (lack of restful sleep, tired body, fried brain) I decided that instead of grocery shopping–I would pick up some Rio for dinner. As I got in line, my heart strings got a little tug. The man in front of me in line stood there ordering and I stood there trying not to stare at him. He couldn’t be much older than I, dressed in shorts and a t-shirt–nothing abnormal in that. But then there was the mask, the baldness, the bandaged arm–he was in chemo treatments. As I thought about life, our lives specifically, I thought about how each of us has our own individual ‘challenges’ or ‘hard thing.’ It appears in such different forms in our individual lives. I remember once when a friend insulted one of my “hard things” by saying that he could never do it. I was offended by this because in that instant I realized that ‘hard’ was not synonymous with ‘absolutely terrible, awful, no good, very always bad’, in fact maybe everyone should experience this ‘hard thing’ because of the way it had changed me and the way I think about other people.
In a way, maybe sometimes, just sometimes, we almost become partial to our hard thing. When we realize its source and its power to make us better people as we work to deal/overcome and even conquer it…there in lies the power.
This morning I read from the book of Joshua, first chapter. In that chapter the Lord calls Joshua to do a hard thing–take over for Moses in leading the children of Israel. The Lord tells Joshua in verse 5, “…I will not fail thee nor forsake thee.” Again and again throughout the chapter the Lord reminds Joshua to “be strong and of a good courage.” I think the Lord reminds us of this as we go about as spiritual beings in a physical world. Once a good friend taught me the following lesson. I guess the scriptures were telling it to me all along. In 1 Corinthians 10:13, we are taught, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man, but God is faithful and will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able but wherewith the temptation also make a way to escape that ye may be able to bear it.” Isn’t it so great that the Lord told us that he would never give us more than we can bear? He knows all the power that is available to help us along the way because he is the power. We are weak but he is strong.
Let us delight in the little things. The main lesson of all of this essentially is that with spiritual eyes, we can see such a better and clearer picture of the experiences of mortality. Let us look beyond the setting sun to the Son of God who prepared the way for us to be refined by life’s hard experiences, not damned because of them.