Challenges cause us to go beyond our normal potential; we are shaped by trials.
Life is good when it's easy; when we can focus on laughing and our everyday existence is defined primarily by an underlying sense of joy and contentment. These seasons should be savored and enjoyed, for they will inevitably transition into times where we are confronted by a need to persevere. It is not the good times that shape us. If one travels by kayak or a canoe (my brother who completed a 5,200 mile expedition knows this well!) they will never complain about the times when the current carries them. These are good times; coasting and enjoying the sun on your face and breeze in your hair. But the way you get stronger on such a voyage is when you travel against the current. When one paddles, struggles, portages and battles storms are the times when strength and fidelity (on a mental and physical level) are developed.
So where are you today in your journey? Is the Sun of Life shining on you, warming, and bringing you joy? Or does it seem you are suspended in a moment when cold wind is biting at your face and you feel like you are lost, beyond reach, and far from any shore or safety? Whether in sun or storm I am writing this short letter for you.
If life is radiant right now, soak it up! Don't let a moment go by without being present and drinking it in because times may not always be so good and these seasons are truly heaven manifesting in the earth. Never downplay how good life is to accommodate other people. If things are great then speak of them like they are; live and laugh and smile like they are. Don't allow your joy to be contained!
If all seems lost and discouragement has set in, I want to encourage you now to forcefully take hold of joy and determine to persevere. Jesus once said that in this life we will have trouble, but to take great joy! Taking hold of joy in the midst of trial is a decision. I know it can be hard, we all struggle at times, but find one thing today to cling to and see Beauty in. Force a smile, even right now, and remember someone or something in your life that you love... it'll feel good.
Life without challenges is not life as we know it. Hard times come. I invite you to join me in a life of Faith, Hope and Joy. Let's be intentional about how we live and love and always be willing to stretch out a hand to help any of our brothers or sisters who have fallen down get back on their feet.
Peace to you today,