“My troubles turned out all for the best – they forced me to learn from your [God’s] textbook.” Psalm 119.71
Recognizing problems as opportunities is an old clich? in disguise. Books continue to be written on the theme, mothers talk about it, and sages pontificate endlessly on the subject. For anyone buried in the valley facing daily fresh trouble barrages, these words have little meaning or relevance! I know that my own growing scream is, at best, a resounding “buzz off”!
I wish the problems were simple and easily moved into the reflective, meditative category. They are not. I would like to suggest that I could easily explain the challenges of the day as the logical result or conclusion of previous decision and actions. I cannot. It would be nice to blame others for the problems, suggest that they are the result of a malicious act. My problems at least do not fit this pattern. Life is full of problems, painful moments, and difficult situations. Clearly, I create a big chunk of the problems, but in others, I am merely a victim. In every situation, I can feel my blood pressure rise, tension in my shoulders increase, and anger form.
As I look back at this week, the past few months and the last three years, I can see how I continue to learn in the school of life. I am different because of the events. I see God in ways that I could never imagine.
Do I believe God planned these events? No. Do I sense a combination of sinners with good and bad intents combined with people ignorant of their actions? Yes. Did God use the events? Did God through these problems and challenges to teach me about his character, love, grace, and acceptance? Yes and yes. Given what I know now would I want to rewrite my book? No, the lesson and insights I now have are too valuable.
Every day is a fresh opportunity with God. God loves you and me too much to let our troubles be wasted. Would be nice though…