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Adversity

"2016 was the worst year." I've heard this from several people lately. I also frequently hear, "This has been the worst day," or, "It's been a terrible day." We have probably had similar thoughts cross our minds at some point. For most of the times that we think that we've just had the worst day of our lives, I say, "I sure hope so." When we have these thoughts it's often on days that the people we loved were alive when we awoke and they were alive at the end of day, we had plenty to eat, we were in fair health, and we enjoyed freedoms and luxuries many in the world will never experience. If that makes up the worst day of our life, God has given us a wonderful life.

Somewhere along the way, our definitions of hard times and bad days have changed. Instead of "bad days" referring to adversity, loss, and hunger, today's generation views "bad days" as not getting their way. How many times have we done this? We look back at the day, week, or year, and ignore the blessings only to focus on the times everything didn't go as we wanted or planned or we were too busy. Because we did not get our way, nothing seemed to work out like we wanted, and we were busy, we call it "terrible." If you asked someone today to get up at 4:00 a.m., feed chickens, tend to the cows, perform other necessary tasks for a farm, walk to a one room school house, and then come back to perform more chores on the farm, they would call that day "awful," "terrible," or even "torture." A hundred years ago, that day was practically any day that ended in "y."

Americans have become spoiled with so many of God's blessings, many of which we take for granted. There's no denying it. As a result we do not handle adversity well. In being spoiled we have formed the expectation that we should get our way and we should encounter no resistance in doing so. We're surrounded by people at school, work, and family who seem shocked when they're met with any resistance (i.e., not getting their way), and we've had these thoughts too. What were we expecting?

(Read more)

Ben McManus
(Woodland, AL)


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