Friday, January 28, 2011

How to Handle Adversity

I just finished reading Charles Stanley"s "How to Handle Adversity.  Excellent book!! 

Mind you I am typing this with a very sore finger with a big bandaid on it.  I was using my vegetable slicer similar to this one...
Only with my naivety (read: stupidity!!) and experience using it, I wasn't using the thingie that goes on top to protect your fingers.  You know where this is going right?  Do you know what a 1/8 inch deep cut that's a little longer than 1/4 inch long at the tip of you index finger on the hand you use most feels like???  Not pleasant!!  I'm sure I could have went in and got stitches but, resourceful woman that I am (who really dislikes going to the dr!!), I just mixed up some Tien Chi powder and water to make a paste, globbed it on and wrapped it with a bandaid.  I love that stuff!!  You should check it out!!

Anyway, all that to say that I am no stranger to adversity!!  :-)

This book is an excellent resource in learning some of the reasons for adversity, where adversity comes from and what our attitude should be while we're walking through it. 

Many people assume wrongly that adversity is a punishment for sin (think of Job and of Jesus healing the man born blind in John 9).  I find that it's very ironic how when things are going well and blessings are falling from heaven like rain from a stormcloud people generally don't walk around proclaiming how righteous a person you must be that the Lord would bless you so abundantly!!  But as soon as things go south whispers abound in curiosity (or in downright accusations!) of what sins you must have committed to be treated so poorly by the Lord.  In a way there is blessing because you discover who really loves you and is committed to stick with you through the hard times rather than those going along for the ride during the good times--those fair weather friends, if you will.

Adversity has many benefits.  It gives you compassion for others in similar circumstances.  And while adversity is not pleasant while you are going through it, many times there is that peace that passes understanding the Lord grants to those who walk through hard times with a humble heart and a longing to do His will--even if it hurts.  Also I have felt the closest to the Lord in the midst of adversity than when blessings are being poured out.  "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." (Psalm 34:18)

So even if you are not in the middle of adversity, this is a great read and will help you understand much more about adversity than most people know and you can be a blessing to those who are going through tough times.  The Lord calls us to love and support those in need.

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