"Blessed is the man who endures"
Have you ever heard the expression, "That which does not kill us makes us stronger." ?
My kids hate that expression. Course maybe that's because I say it to them when they are in the middle of whatever's making them stronger. When you're in the middle of something difficult, it's sometimes very hard to appreciate the lesson.
But I love that expression, because it's so true. Hard times in our lives strengthen us.
Take my dog, for instance. Well, don't really take her. We'd miss her. And truly, you probably don't want her. She's pretty high maintenance. Scared of noises, strangers ~ and for that matter, friends and family too.
Another thing she is scared of is car rides. She's not one of these dogs that sits on the seat with her head out the window her tongue lolling in the breeze. No, she's one of these dogs that sits on the floor of the backseat, trembling. If we do manage to get her to sit on the seat with the kids, she alternates trembling with barking at passersby.
But her favorite thing in the world is my husband. That is to say, the Apple of my Eye is also the apple of her eye. So recently, he decided to take her with him on a short trip to pick up our Awesome Girl at her babysitting job. He had one hand jingling his keys, and his other hand on the doorknob, and the poor dog just didn't know what to do. She wanted to be with him, but she didn't want to go where he was going. Finally, after he had called her a few times, she went. Now, every week when he picks up my girl, he takes the dog with him. And now, when he goes to the door, keys in hand, and calls the dog, she goes running to join him. She's a little less afraid now. A little stronger.
One of the beauties of this truth is, that we are not just stronger in character, we are also stronger in a characteristic, if you will. Hard times not only strengthen us, but also something in us ~ our compassion, our awareness, our determination. And yes, our courage.
Growth is generally not something we can tell is happening at the time that it's happening. Faith means being confident it's happening.
~ "May the God of all grace,
who called us to His eternal glory by Jesus Christ,
after you have suffered a while,
perfect, establish, strengthen and settle you." ~
1 Peter 5:10