This morning, I woke up with questions on my mind. Let me explain some history: the space of time between this post and the last has been considerable. Here is what you need to know. Sometimes in life, people will hurt us and circumstances will crush us. It’s a very general statement, I know, but it’s a start. Since the start of this semester at college for me, I have had people enter my life who have reminded me of past hurts: friends who say that they enjoy your company but then don’t spend time with you. It seems contradictory to me. It makes me wonder what kind of baggage they must be dealing with. But I digress, throughout life, I believe you will always encounter people who lift you up as well as people who bring you down. You will always encounter situations that energize you and circumstances that drain the life-blood out of you. Which leads me to the question: why?
Why do we go through these situations? Are there lessons to be learned? Am I supposed to grow through my circumstances? None of these questions are explicitly invalid; however, it might be simpler than I thought at first. Circumstances will cause us to grow and lessons can be gleaned from our interactions with people, but maybe it is mainly our job to endure. Endurance is an interesting character trait. It can provide ground for bitterness to take root, or it can become a bed of rich spices and much joy.
I believe that one of the most significant reasons that we continually face certain types of hard circumstances and difficult people is simply to remember where we have been. Maybe the point of pain is to remember. Maybe the point of remembrance is to hold on to my identity. Maybe, just maybe, the goal is to endure, and the fruit of endurance depends on the seeds I sow as I persevere. Maybe whether I produce bitterness or joy depends on the thoughts I entertain while I am in the midst of enduring. The Bible says, “Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” (Ps. 126:5-6)
Maybe, as I continually go through my different life-cycles, I will learn to grow closer to Jesus. Maybe, as I walk closer with Jesus, I will begin to see His power work through me to redeem my circumstances and plant seeds of faithfulness in the people who hurt me. Maybe, just maybe, it all starts with enduring.