In Others’ Words: What Adversity is Not

adversity quote evans 2014

There was a time in my life when I would handle problems this way:

I’d lay awake at night and think . . . and think . . . and think . . .

I just knew that if I thought long enough, hard enough — maybe prayed a bit about the situation — I would figure a way out of the mess.

I can’t tell you the number of times I thought to myself, “Just give me a minute and I will figure this out.”

What I didn’t realize back then was that my thinking, thinking, thinking was all wrong.

I wasn’t supposed to figure a way out of a problem. Or around it.

Sometimes … oftentimes … what I needed to do was face the reality that I had to go through the mess.

I thought a problem — mess, adversity, disaster, whatever you want to label it — was a sign that I was heading in the wrong direction. Or that somehow I was on some sort of crazy, unnecessary detour and I needed to get back on the right road, and headed in the right direction as soon as possible.

Adversity is part of real life … plain and simple. And  while I believe God accepts the fact that we ask why? and what did I do wrong? and when will this be over?, I’ve stopped trying to figure out how to avoid adversity or how to make it all better. Instead, I try to remember that God is with me in the good times … and the adverse times. I ask where are you, God? And then I go and get as close to him as I can get … so that I don’t lose my way as I continue to walk the path set out before me.

In Your Words: How do you respond to adversity? And what questions do you ask when the path you’re walking takes an unexpected turn or detour? 

 

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9 Comments

  1. June 20, 2014, 7:44 am   /  Reply

    I finally figured out adversity is a trial, and if I’m not in a trial it’s probably because I just came out on the other side of one or I’m about to enter another one. I’ve also figured out there’s little I can do to get out of it, except do the next thing. Which is to follow God’s leading. Easy? No. But after many years, I’ve discovered it’s easier than trying to fix the mess I make when I try to handle it on my own. 🙂

    • June 20, 2014, 7:50 am   /  Reply

      Pat, have I told you that you are a very wise woman?
      Very wise.

  2. June 20, 2014, 7:48 am   /  Reply

    Very true – adversity is a part of life, and part of our inheritance from the fall – you’ll earn your food by your sweat, and you’ll eat it in sorrow.

    But wait…that’s part of the Old Covenant…now there’s something else going on…My yoke is easy, and My burden light.

    We still have a yoke, we still bear a burden. Adversity’s going to be there. But we have a Friend and Master who will do what He can to lighten the load, so that we can lift our heads along the way, and still see the flowers and shining morning-dew that line the path we walk.

    • June 20, 2014, 7:51 am   /  Reply

      Between your comment this morning, Andrew, and Pat’s comment … I am encouraged greatly this morning.
      Let’s keep walking in truth.
      TRUTH.

  3. June 20, 2014, 7:52 am   /  Reply

    Oh I LOVE this, Beth! I’ve encountered some Christians who seem to believe that adversity is actually God’s way of saying you’re doing the wrong thing. Like if a dream or goal has too many roadblocks, then it’s obviously not God’s will. But I just don’t see where they’re getting that…I look at some of our greatest Biblical heroes…they faced soooo much adversity. And I think we experience God in amazing ways when we walk through adversity…and I especially love the question you ask, “Where are you, God?” That’s just huge to ask in everything, isn’t it.

    • June 20, 2014, 3:18 pm   /  Reply

      Melissa:
      I’ve met those people too. And sometimes roadblocks are stop signs — but we too often too quickly interpret them as such. (Wait. Did that sentence make sense? Sorry, I’ve gone AWOL from my deadline, and the imaginary characters are clamoring for attention …)
      The main thing is: I agree with you!
      😉

  4. Amy Leigh Simpson
    June 20, 2014, 9:41 am   /  Reply

    We weren’t promised an easy life, we know this. But we do know that we don’t have to go it alone. Our burdens are not only ours to carry. So we keep our head up and put one foot in front of the other and soldier through. But when we are weak he is strong. “My glory and the lifter of my head.” 🙂 great thoughts today, Beth!

    • June 20, 2014, 3:18 pm   /  Reply

      Amen, Amy. Amen.

  5. June 20, 2014, 11:20 pm   /  Reply

    So true, Beth. Just heard a sermon on this same topic. It gave me a different perspective and here’s its confirmation.

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