Adversity: A Lesson In the Testing

Ah, Adversity.

I generally don’t want to deal with it unless I ABSOLUTELY have to. I’ll be honest and say that I have a low tolerance for pain across the board. However, I’m realizing that it’s part of my faith walk and…it’s part of life.

We can’t control adversity. No one knows when it will start or when it will end.

Some hardships seem to be situational. It comes, then goes. It can last for a few hours, a few days. Maybe even a few weeks. All of a sudden, POOF!

Like vapor in air, it disappears.

One of the positive sides about situational adversity is that it doesn’t last forever, even though it feels like it. Once it’s done, I breathe a sigh of relief praying that more doesn’t come anytime soon.

However, some hardships are seasonal. They seem to remain much longer than expected. It can last for months, even years with what seems like no end in sight. Well, at least in our minds anyway.

Since moving to Florida, I’ve had more than my fair share of adversity. It came in the form of loss, loneliness, and depression.

My marriage would also be attacked. Donovan and I would try to keep sane while there was more month than money coming in. Not to mention, keep our house afloat as serious home repairs (roofing issues, water leaks, etc.) threaten to tear our house apart.

Truth be told, this balancing act has been going on for almost 2 years and counting. I’ve begged, pleaded, and asked God to remove all this madness.

He would NOT.

To some degree, the adversity increased a little more. This made me furious even more.

As of late, I’ve been doing some reflecting. God is teaching me a heavy lesson learned ONLY through hardship.

Adversity, especially when dealing with it for a long time, has a way of testing us while revealing our TRUEST colors. In the thick of hardship, it creates strength but definitely highlights our weaknesses.

My Weakness

My natural response to adversity is to get mad, through a pity party with cookies, or quickly escape the problem, especially if I feel it’s been going on for too long.

But what does that solve by leaving? The problem is still there waiting for me. What does throwing a pity party with cookies solve?  Nothing. I’ll still be miserable and depressed stuck in the same circumstance. Plus, it’s not good for my waistline.

A Lesson In the Testing

While God can and will certainly remove suffering and adversity at any moment, He can also have them remain for various reasons. In my case, it was to definitely test me and grow my faith. But really it was to (ONCE AGAIN) expose and deal with a hurtful attitudes in my difficulty.

Sometimes, it’s not our circumstances that need to change in hardship but our attitudes in them. 

I know. Much easier said than done.

Though it’s a work a COLOSSAL work in progress, God is shifting me to hold onto His hope and peace while deepening my trust in Him instead of trying to control the myriad problems I have going on. I’m even at a point where (I can’t even believe I’m saying this) some problems are starting to become almost laughable.

Sounds crazy, right?

Sounds like the promise of peace beyond understand that’s mentioned in Philippians 4:7.

As it stands, my situation hasn’t changed. Major repairs still need to be done, bills still need to be paid, and Donovan and I are still feeling the pressure and brunt of all of what’s going on in our marriage.

However, I can tell you this. This time around, there will be no escaping, no pity party with the excess eating of cookies. I may not be able to control how long I’ll have to endure the adversity but I can control how I respond, praise, and pray in the midst of it.

Who knows. My different response and approach to all this can lift me out quicker than expected.

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