April 1, 2016

The Purpose of Difficulties, part 3

Who doesn’t want to live life with ease? We fight to stay in our comfort zones. We resist change. Personally, I’m scared to death of change.

It’s truly simple to fear individuals and situations that we don’t understand—or cannot control. Chaotic current events are proof of that.

That’s probably one of the main reasons trials are stressful; they are beyond our immediate comprehension:
  • How does it make sense that unfair situations keep happening to good people?
  • Why do less deserving people seem to get all the rewards?

In two previous articles, I discussed some of the reasons for challenges. I wrote about how weaknesses and opposition can take us to a new level here and here.

Another Reason for Rough Times: The Seed

I don’t think that any one person or group has a quick answer to every single question in the universe.  Perhaps nature can provide another answer for the purpose of challenges, though:

“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”—John12:24 (NIV)

Simple horticulture: A seed in itself isn’t usually beautiful or useful. It must be planted in the dark soil and go through a “painful” growth period in order to fulfill its true potential: a plant or a tree. This takes time and patience.

By the same token, unless individuals are willing to be buried and go through the process of rebirth and regeneration, we won’t move beyond our present level. In the same manner as a seed, people must go through these steps:
  • Be buried
  • Have our outer shell (hull) broken off
  • Sprout roots
  • Become a mature tree

Is the process easy? No!!!! As any mother can tell you, the birthing process is usually painful; it’s just a matter of degree. Mothers will also tell you that the end result, the baby, is well worth any trauma.

In the same way, if a seed could talk, it would probably complain. It might say that it was hot, suffocating, unable to see, and under way too much pressure. The mature tree, however, wouldn’t regret any moment of the necessary progression.

My Conclusion

In the same manner as diamonds, every kind of plant and tree is born in unbelievable darkness and pressure. Our best selves, our higher selves, are also born in the same way. Trials smooth our rough edges and open us up for a life not imagined by the tiny seed of our former selves.

What new life are your trials building for you?