Hardships and How They Help Us

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“He who knows no hardships will know no hardihood. He who faces no calamity will need no courage. Mysterious though it is, the characteristics in human nature which we love best grow in a soil with a strong mixture of troubles.”–Henry Emmerson Fosdick

Going through a difficult time is never easy!  We are not particularly thrilled when we are in the middle of hard times, and often are filled with feelings of resentment towards the situation, circumstances, others who are involved and then God usually tends to get blamed for far more than His share in our process of poor choices.  Going through these times seems to last forever as time tends to come to a stand still. You know the saying that “time flies when you’re having fun“, but then there is the flip side, it tends to stand still when we are battling with something.

But there is a positive side to all of this and believe it or not, you tend to gain so much more after having passed through tough times than if you were to continue sailing through everything without adversity.  We tend to take for granted what comes easily, and will appreciate much more the things that we have to fight for.  There is no victory without a battle, there is no triumph without a trial, there are no roses without thorns, to gain beauty you often have to suffer a bit.

I was just thinking of a tough project I had gone through not too long ago where we were trying to set up a youth center to train young people for volunteer work.  We received a large property with an old style farm-house on it that lacked heating and some of the more basic necessities. It was given for our use for a very low price because we had agreed to fix it up in exchange for a long-term contract for our work.  Not having a great financial backing we had to approach different businesses to ask for their help in the way of donating the needed supplies.  The work on it was huge and we were for the most part new at this type of work, but with time we were given a lot of help by experts to do the more technical jobs.  The house had, no heating, well water that needed a purification system since it came from an impure source, and the walls and windows had to be redone.

We went on with this work for 4 years, 3 of those 4 years we had no heating as this was the most difficult item to get help with.  Thank God the first winter was very mild, but that did not last all that long.  The area where this farmhouse was is known for its humidity and when winter set in, almost every day there was a thick fog that took half the day to dissipate.  Each year that went by was becoming more and more difficult to face, and the situation became a bit depressing, to say the least, as the cold would reach deep down into the bone! We finally got the heating working and then our time was up for this particular project.

You might think, how can there be anything positive come from torturing yourself for these 3 years?  Well, I’ll tell you that , since this time after having spent most of my living years in the comfort of a warm house and environment, today, there is not a day that goes by that I don’t thank God for heat, clean water to drink from the tap and a comfortable place to lay my head.  Even the seemingly simple and “normal” things of life can be taken for granted and overlooked, until you have had to experience a time without the things that today you just take for granted!

My parents, as those of many others who have gone through a World War, and the Great Depression learned through those times to appreciate the value of everything they ever had.  We grew up with most of what we needed and even wanted!  Today, however we are faced with a serious economic situation that is surely going to help us to grow to be wiser, more saving, more thankful tomorrow, once things finally start turning around.  There is so much that you can learn through adversity and times of trial and tribulation that whilst in the midst of it all can cause you great despair.  In the meanwhile, hold on tight, don’t lose hope …ever, once the roller coaster comes to a halt and you finally get down, you will feel a bit wobbly for a  little while , but once you find you footing, you will be strengthened more grateful that it is over with and that you are still alive to face the next adventure!

Have you had it rough and learned from difficulty? I really do like it when you comment!

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Showing 5 comments
  • Anne Lyken-Garner
    Reply

    Oh, I so agree that hardship is helpful to say the least. I’ve had so many hardships in my life and I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them. Without being made to wait for things, we can never develop patience. The same goes for learning how to be tough.

    Lovely article on hardships.

    • Rusty
      Reply

      Hi Anne, Thank you for your your visit and I particularly am thankful for your comment. What you said is very true! What we go through helps to make who we are in the end. It is sort of like lifteing weights in order to gain strength. Have a wonderful day!

  • Louise Hernan
    Reply

    Oh gosh yes – everything we struggle and get thru certainly does make us stronger, wiser and more appreciative of even the smallest blessings. Great post Rusty!! :)

    • Rusty
      Reply

      Thank you so much for your comment! The times I’ve learned the most from hardships are teh time that I have made big mistakes. It is humbling to have to go through when you have pulled a big boo boo, but you know you will never do it again a second time!

  • Louise Hernan
    Reply

    Yup – I’d have to say the same for me too – Those big mistakes sure do leave a lasting impression!! :)

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