I Am So Thankful I Have Difficulties in My Life

Filed in Stress & Anxiety by on April 9, 2015 0 Comments

Businessman praying

Most people bemoan the difficulties and obstacles they face in life. If we could only avoid all of our problems, life would be perfect, and we would be perfectly happy!

We become ill, lose our job, get divorced, experience anxiety or depression, or face some other unexpected challenge, and we view it as an unwelcome situation that we wish we could have simply avoided.

I have come to the opposite conclusion, that challenges and difficult times are actually a gift, and I have come to cherish them.

Like many Type A’s, I have a bit of an ego (surprise!). So when things go my way for an extended period of time, I have a tendency to get full of myself, vain, and strongly self-reliant. The reasoning starts to become, “I am a really smart guy! Because of this, I can handle anything. I am finally in complete control of my existence, which is what I’ve always wanted. This is the ideal situation.”

For those of you who haven’t lived as long as I have and who might think this mindset is actually a good thing, I can tell you that it is instead a terrible mistake, and only sets you up for much suffering and a big fall. Occasionally facing difficulties causes you to realize that you are not in complete control of yourself and your existence, humbles you, and brings you back to God.

Now I realize that when I face an obstacle, it presents a great opportunity to “reset” my thinking and put God back in control of my life. When everything is going my way and I am full of myself, I try to handle everything on my own. This eventually becomes more and more difficult, and then impossible. A challenge or difficulty helps to get me back on track, which makes such situations actually a blessing in disguise.

Elaine and I recently went on a lengthy European cruise. Being prone to anxiety, about a month prior to the trip I started to get nervous about the long flight and trip, and began worrying a lot. I was suffering due to my inability to fully control my emotions about the upcoming trip, and my inability to control the future. Then I realized, “Oh yeah, I’m not supposed to try to control everything!” So I just let it go, gave it over to God, and I immediately became calm and relaxed. My fears simply melted away, and I ended up really enjoying our vacation.

I had forgotten one of the most important Bible instructions, which is “Trust the Lord completely, don’t ever trust yourself.”

The challenges and difficulties we face in our lives are a huge blessing. If we didn’t have them, we would run the risk of becoming terribly egotistical and self-centered. Then when something really difficult occurs, as eventually will, we are totally unprepared, and suffer greatly.

So you might consider viewing life’s challenges, both large and small, as an opportunity to be less self-reliant and more wisely guided by the Lord. You will benefit by being more peaceful, calm, and content, which is a great place to be in life, and actually is the ideal situation.

 

 

 

 

About the Author ()

TIM MCINTYRE retired in 2004 from his position as president of Applied Systems after facilitating a successful sale of the company. At only forty-six years old, he made the unusual decision to fully retire to pursue other interests and simply enjoy free time. As a hard-driving Type A personality, this turned out to be a significant challenge for the Notre Dame and University of Chicago-educated MBA, CPA, and Certified Cash Manager.

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