December 10, 2017

3 Ways Trials Train us for Success



“For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.”—Deuteronomy 20:4 (KJV)

Thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog. I appreciate your support!

My last article gave tips on how to relax for the holiday season. It’s hard to be calm when life doesn’t go our way. Everyone seems to be on a mission to get cheerful.

What if happiness isn’t part of the picture for a certain person? Perhaps she’s being taught patience, or being strengthened for future success. Steven Furtick, head pastor of Elevation Church, cites three ways obstacles can serve us. I have added my own commentary:

Protect

In the book of Numbers in the Bible, we learn about the Israelites'  40-year journey to the Promised Land. This is a trip that could have taken five days.

The former slaves were probably held back for various reasons. We know they had been disobedient.  They were also unprepared to displace the warrior-like residents. In other words, God was shielding them.

Prepare

This NPR article tells the story of Operation Tiger, in April of 1944. It was the disastrous “dress rehearsal” for D-Day (Operation Overlord). The campaign was so horrifying; it wasn’t declassified until some months later.

This military exercise took place on the beaches of Southwest England. There were no Germans on land, but a patrol fleet unexpectedly showed up. Chaos ensued. About 700 allied men were stranded in the water. Hundreds were killed due to a lack of communication, too. Some British troops even shot at American soldiers as they accessed the beaches.

On June 6, 1944, the Allied Forces stormed the beaches of Normandy, France. This was the real D-Day. The stakes were much higher. The ambitious objective was to stop Nazi aggression at the source: the European continent. It worked:
  • Rescue tactics and communication systems had been upgraded.
  • Misinformation rose to a new level. U. S. General George S. Patton led an exercise to convince the Germans that the target area was Calais, not the Normandy beaches.

I call that preparation!

Position

I graduated from college with a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities with an English emphasis. I almost became an English/History teacher. However, I did not follow through with the certification. That’s because I had a traumatic internship. Nobody was happy, and I was poorly trained. I chose to graduate without the teaching credentials.

I have since discovered that I may have been able to repeat that internship. I wasn’t offered that option at the time. Looking back, I am very grateful I didn’t become a teacher. I was actually being positioned to meet my husband and live a completely different life.

There would have been an awful, long-term domino effect of horrible consequences if I had stuck with my original plan. They would have affected my health and my future family. (I wouldn’t have my current husband or kids.) In fact, I might even have died without the crucial information and resources I’ve found along my unexpected path.

My Conclusion

Cheer up. Today’s crisis could be keeping you from—or preparing you for—a bigger problem. Even better, it could be positioning you for a huge, future victory.  

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How have past “failures” actually helped you?