Endure. Hardship. Discipline. Those aren’t happy place words. However, during a season of hardship, they earned a trophy in my heart.
Life had become difficult and seemed terribly unfair. “Why?” I kept asking God. Just when things were getting easier. The kids were growing up. Dennis had left for college. Cal was finishing high school. I could breathe.
And then, BAM! My elderly parents needed assistance. They left Florida and moved in with us. Suddenly, I was drowning in pain. Emotional pain over grieving my parents’ loss of strength, health, and vitality. Physical pain, as the added responsibilities stressed and exhausted me—and my back throbbed from lifting my mother. Spiritual pain, as I vacillated between “If I had more faith, I could handle this” and “If God loves me, why is He allowing this?”
“Endure hardship as discipline.” I happened upon this verse as I swirled in my vortex of turmoil. Then, my Father-God sat me down for a heart-to-heart talk. My challenging circumstances felt like punishment. But I held the wrong perspective. God was doing what loving fathers do: teach their kids. When God allows difficulties, He asks us to welcome them as tools of discipleship.
Hardship plants seeds of righteousness. It matures us. Caregiving teaches selflessness and humility. Pain drives us to seek God with greater intensity. Instead of “Why?” I ask, “How?” How will you use this for my good, Lord? How can this make me more like Jesus Christ?
Hardship also plants seeds of peace. My past difficulties leave me calmly assured about the future. God helped me through the past, and He’ll help me through whatever tomorrow holds.
Endure hardship as discipline. Doing so will lead you to the happy place of righteousness and peace.
Ask God to give you a different perspective on hardships.
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Peggi Tustan is an ordinary woman living an extraordinary real life in Christ. She blogs at www.peggitustan.com, writes articles, and is finishing two books. She’s a recovering perfectionist who passionately encourages others to embrace grace. Peggi and her husband Terry handfeed wild birds in Northeast Ohio.