In Life, There Are Trials

I think everyone can agree that life isn’t easy; there are plenty of stumbles, falls and detours.  There are dead-ends and miscalculations, and there is plenty of pain and heartache along the way.  If you can’t relate to any of this because you’ve only experienced joy and success, please leave a comment with details of your charmed life.  Really, I want to know.

I will remind myself that life isn’t fair, and I will do my best to not dislike you for the injustice that is no fault of your own.  In fact, I’ll likely say a prayer for you because with all that smooth sailing, navigating the inevitable choppy waters might be more than you know how to handle.

But you should know this:  life is like the ‘friend’ in high school who buddies up to you until you’re done helping with her science project.  In other words, just because it’s nice to you, doesn’t mean that life is your friend…life will knock you off your feet when you least expect it.  Consider yourself warned 😉

All joking aside, life’s trials are necessary.  Without them, how would we ever learn to appreciate the goodness we have?  How would we know that when life brings us to our knees, we can get up and limpstand again?

For me, it is the emotional moments in life that make me take notice.

Moment #1

Over the Christmas holiday, my family was blessed with not one, but two phone calls from my cousin in Afghanistan.  It’s amazing how a distance of half a world away became a two-second voice transmission delay – for a short time it felt like he was with us.  Crowded around a cell phone put on speaker, we talked about Easy Cheese (apparently sought after by troops for its shelf life,) tube socks (he asked for no more,) and Kevlar underwear (you don’t want to know.)

He also told us his assignment might be changing, and not to worry because he might be out of contact for several months.  We all knew what this meant, and of course, we will worry.  Predictably, his parents had questions, all of which he deflected with vague answers (just as he was trained).

We cherished these calls more, because we knew they might not come again for a long time.  We didn’t speak a word of our worries, the dangers, or the possible outcomes because doing so wouldn’t have helped ease any anxiety.  Instead we do what we can, which is pray for his safety, and value our freedom that our troops defend.  (I may have my doubts about our presence in the Middle East, but I don’t doubt the bravery and sacrifices of the men and women who enlist in the military.)

Moment #2

I’ve been known to cry after watching commercials, animated films (Up and Toy Story 3), and while reading anything pertaining to death or loss.  So yeah, I’m a bit of an emotional crier.  This past week, a set of videos, which I first encountered on Yahoo News, got me again.

The Ben Breedlove ‘My Story’ videos were posted on December 18th and have been widely publicized since the teen’s death on Christmas day, so you may have already watched them.  If you haven’t, I’ve included the You Tube links below and encourage you to view both Part One and Part Two.  I watched them again when I got the links for this post and I still needed tissues.

Part One –

Part Two –

Ben’s story got to me for several reasons:

    1. It’s always sad to me when such a young person dies.
    2. Even though trials are meant to make us stronger, and life isn’t fair, it just doesn’t seem right for children to have to battle illnesses.
    3. My children have not had chronic health issues – they are healthy and I am ever thankful for that.  I pray God nudges me to remember this in the moments I get frustrated with them.
    4. It reminds me that God has a plan for all of us.  I don’t need to understand “Why?” I just need to trust his answer: “Because.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1-4:  “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:  a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…”

Your turn – tell me about your trial-free life, your troubled life, or whether you prefer Brussels sprouts or turnip greens.  What did you think of the Ben Breedlove videos?  Whatever you want to ‘say’ – the Comment box is all yours 🙂