FRIEND: “Hi. How are you doing?”
ME: “Oh…I’m doing great, thanks.”
FRIEND: “That’s good to know.”
Isn’t that the pattern in a lot of our daily random conversations (especially social media ones)?
Well for me, it is. My automatic response is always that of expected optimism. At least, initially. For the friend that takes the pain to ask a second or third time during the conversation, you might hear something like:
“All is well” or “God is faithful”. Still trying to sound optimistic.
Sometimes I go on to vaguely mention something I’m dealing with at the moment, like school stress. And the friend tries to give some basic encouragement/support, which is usually soothing.
There are some of my friends however that I’m more comfortable at being vulnerable with, that often get to hear the real gist of whatever is going on in my life right then.
The truth is, at any given time, many of us are faced with at least one challenge or the other. It could be minimum, medium or maximum in quantity; minor, moderate or major in quality. Challenges are inevitably part of our lives. From the difficulties at work or in our studies, to the strains we experience in relating with others, to issues with Money or Health or Family, the list of challenges is never ending.
I was faced with lots of them last year, and I’ve experienced a few this year already. I’ve learnt, and I’m still learning, to embrace the challenges, hand them completely over to God, and rely on his promises according to the Scriptures (Romans 8:28).
Too often, a lot of people try to shy away from this reality by hoping, and sometimes praying for a challenge-free ride as they embark on new jobs, projects, relationships and the likes. No one wants to experience anything but bliss and lifelong happiness. We were naturally wired for that. However, since we all live in a fallen world, with all sorts of imperfect people, including you and me, we need to grasp the fact that: There will ALWAYS be Challenges!
Challenges are like broken pieces of a picture puzzle, which must be repaired and put back together to obtain a perfect picture.
Another thing I picked up last year was, that it is the will of God for us to succeed at a given venture, doesn’t mean there won’t be circumstances that will try our faith. As believers we shouldn’t lose hope when faced with obstacles that seem to impede our progress. Challenges are opportunities for us to strive and thrive, rise and soar! If we keep our faith, we will always emerge victorious.
So prepare your mind for unusual challenges this year in anticipation of the definite Victory that is found in Christ.