Is it an Experience, or an Excuse?
There are many types of people in this world, but for simplicity's sake, and for the purposes of this article, let's say there are two - those who don't necessarily relish their lives, and they have plenty of excuses for it, and those who have many of the same rough situations occur in their lives, but they count them as experiences and learn and grow from them.
I hope I fall into the second category, for that is where I want to be. I think I naturally do, because I've never been much of a victim mentality sort of person.
Life is full of difficulties, and many a Christian has pleaded with the Lord to know why He had let certain things occur in their life. I've done that, and now look back years later and see the bigger picture. Sure, "y" hurt and was hard, but if it weren't for "y," "z" wouldn't have come about, and "z" is very important.
We all have trials, hardships, and tribulations. We all have minds, free will, and therefore decisions to make. When hard times hit you, what are you going to do about it? The way I see it, is that you could be the "victim," and use those hard times as excuses as to why you aren't getting out of life what you wish you were, or you could be the victor, and come out swinging.
The victim rarely learns from their hardships, except how to be good at making excuses. The victor, on the other hand, refuses to get beat down. The Christian victor tells the Lord "I know this is in Your hands, and the Scriptures promise me that things will work out for the good, so I'm going to smile, even if it is fake at first, and I am going to persevere." The victor comes away with more from their downtrodden experience than they did before entering that dark time of their life. They come away with life experiences they can look back to, and an enriched character. They come away with tools, such as more wisdom, which will be used later in their life, not only to help them through other rough patches, but also to help others.
Yes, the Lord will let certain hardships fall upon us, but if we keep the faith and keep our eyes on our Saviour, then we see that He never leaves us - ever. He is there with us, strengthening us, telling us what to do. We must look for what the Lord is telling us in these rough patches. Trust in the Lord, and He will see you through. You will come out the victor. Don't be the victim, but be the one who learns from these hard experiences. If we allow the Lord to work in and through us, then each of these experiences will grow us to be more like Jesus. Growth doesn't come from an easy life; character certainly does not. Growth and character come from persevering, and being the victor, instead of the victim.
Are you having a rough time right now? Look to the Lord, and this too shall pass. Will you let this be an experience in your life, or an excuse that you will look back to, excusing why aren't who you want to be?