Darkest before the light

In my post last Friday we talked about how things are never as bad or as good as they seem.  Several of you have commented and agreed that this is, in fact, what you have experienced also.

Let me share that when things seemed darkest, the light did shine through.  I will also share a very personal story about how something that appeared to be a tremendous hardship ended up being one of the biggest blessings I have ever received.

Let’s look at last week first.

This fall has been an interesting time.  I would call it a time of transition and these times of change come with smiles and frowns.  We all enjoy the smiles, and cringe at the frowns.  Some of the more recent frowns have come from what first seemed like outstanding opportunities, but for one reason or another they didn’t come out the way I expected.  While meeting with a group of friends over the weekend I then learned that something I had expected to write off ended up being an opportunity that was totally unexpected.  I am thankful and give praise to God for this potential opportunity, just like I give thanks for the challenges that make me stronger.

Let’s talk about how one of these prior challenges ended up being a great blessing.

In 1983 my wife and I lived in a rural area and we decided to move to the Nashville area.  I went in to have a discussion with my supervisor and learned that I was about to be part of a reduction in force due to a downturn in business.  I was the last one hired, so I ended up being the first one laid off.  This came as a shock at first, but at this same time my father was in his final weeks of fighting cancer.  Because I had no job I spent the next week with my dad and it ended up that I was with my dad when he drew his last breath on this earth.  While I was certainly sad to lose my father, I look back now and rejoice in knowing that what appeared to be a hardship ended up being an opportunity that I could never replace.  Had I not lost my job I would have not spent that time with my dad during his final days.

Life provides each of us with challenges that we might not appreciate at first.

Experience teaches us (or can teach us) to put these challenges in the right perspective if we reflect and see how the closed door might lead to several other opened doors.

Doors close in our life every day.

Don’t keep knocking if you know there is no way to get in.

Find another door or window and blaze a new path.

God provides no hardships without the support to weather the storm.  This does not mean we will always end up better from a worldly view.  It does mean that we are all being prepared and it is our choice in how we accept and value this preparation.

What challenges have you weathered and lived to tell about?