It's very weird that I am inclined to write something about this topic, because I'm someone who fails miserably when it comes to facing trials.
However, today I felt something different. I felt thankful and invigorated for God allowing struggles in my life.
Yes, it's a weird... I have to remind myself that something has changed this past summer when I've spent around 4 weeks in various retreats and camps conversing with God. What I think happened is that I have spiritually matured to a point to see and understand the spiritual benefits of trials, instead of toiling myself from the physical/mental/emotional demand of it.
When I mean trials, I am talking about arguments with friends, verbal or emotional abuse, church or family matters, and etc. It can be anything.
Usually, when I am up against such conflicts, I simply become devastated. I become angry, unforgiving, and I ask God why He had to place me in such a difficult situation, why I had to be victimized. In short, I was fearful to encounter trials.
Today, I was thankful. I was thankful that through this trial, I am able to practice my faith, to be more spiritually awake, to pray more. If this had happened last year, I would have probably suppressed my feelings or tried to avoid the conflict altogether.
What I was struggling with recently, was a situation where I had been let down by my friend who was dismissive and disrespectful to me, which caused me to become embarrassed and even angered. Such situations can’t be comfortable to anyone. Especially when you feel let down by someone you were trying to help.
I know it is a trivial matter but through this situation, I was able to pray to God more about this friend of mine. My spiritual life that was dormant needed vigorous exercise, and I was provided with just that! Spiritual exercise.
The more I prayed, the more God allowed me to love this person and understand that friend’s struggles. I learned compassion. I longed to be more caring and sensitive to this friend of mine the next time I encounter him/her. I became thankful that God gave me such an understanding love, when I knew nothing good could come from my heart. I was thankful that God was moving in my life and His presence was giving me peace, authority, and freedom from worldly conflicts. It was truly an empowering experience.
In the past, my prayers would be “Lord take this cup away from me if you would will.” Today, it was more like “Lord thank you for this cup. Thank you for allowing me to exercise a healthy spiritual life rooted in you.”
I think the main point I wanted to express in this post is that trials are healthy for your spiritual life. Of course this is most appropriate when you have are connected to God and spiritually ready each day. There are stages in life when you feel deeply rooted in God and have come to understand the power of the Holy Spirit in your life. I think I have met that stage in my life and it is very very exciting to be able to exercise my faith and spiritual life, and finally see the fruits of it.