February 18, 2018

How to Keep a "This, too, Shall Pass" Attitude

“But he knoweth the way that I take; when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” Job 23:10 (KJV)

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Job. The name is synonymous with trials. In the Bible, we learn this wealthy man lost everything:
  • Children
  • Servants
  • Health
  • Animals (This is significant because the animals would have been a source of income and/or food.)

How bad did it get? Some of his best friends thought Job must deserve any problems he was given. His own wife encouraged him to curse God and die.

Where is the reassurance in this tragic story? All of these challenges lasted only nine months. It passed. That’s only the beginning. Everything was restored to Job. He even had more children.

The pain of some struggles may not end, or it may diminish with time. However, most trials do have an end date.

1. Chip Away at Challenges Little by Little.

I drew the picture above for a contest at my local library. It’s detailed. It took me hours to finish. If I had had rushed the process, the drawing would probably have looked sloppy.

This dragon is sculpted from ice. Quite a few cold-weather countries host ice-sculpting competitions. Needless to say, it’s difficult to carve using the medium of ice.  The procedure is painstaking, especially for ornate figures such as the one above. The artist must literally chip away at the ice a little bit at a time.

This is a close-up view of the statue called Christ the Redeemer at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It’s the largest Art Deco-style figure in the world. It stands 98 feet tall; the arm span is 92 feet. The finished product took five years to build. However, new features have been added over the years, such as escalators.

2. Wait it out; Don’t Struggle.

Every swimmer in the ocean is aware of the existence of riptides. These are currents of water that quickly pull objects away from the shore and out to sea. Lifeguards post warning signs, however it’s not always easy to tell exactly where the riptides are located. The appearance of the water’s surface doesn’t always change much. Nevertheless, the current is strong, and it’s impossible for even the strongest swimmers to go against it.

Experts don’t always agree on how to survive the dangerous phenomena. Riptides are usually bands of water from 10 to 200 feet in width and length that subside close to shore. However, a few of the currents move in huge circles. Some articles say it could be easier to patiently wait out, and survive, the narrow bands.  

Scientists do concur on one fact: most related deaths are caused by exhaustion. Swimmers panic and attempt to swim against the current, which is a losing battle. They only succeed in draining all their energy.

My Conclusion

Life can be tough. It’s tempting to get discouraged and angry. Friends may even suggest we give up. It’s also appealing to try to rush essential developments, which doesn’t work.  We have to build our monuments to victory little by little; there’s no way around it. In the meantime, it’s helpful to remember that even our biggest problems won’t last forever.

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