There are seasons in each of our lives which just seem brutal to endure. Sometimes we just feel beaten down by it all. Defeated. Demoralized.
I have to admit, I’ve been feeling varying degrees of all this recently. Don’t worry, it wasn’t necessary to hide the cutlery or anything like that. There just comes a time when, no matter how solid your faith, you just wonder if there’s any end in sight.
Here’s a little example of what I mean. Earlier in the week was a series of baseball games between the Giants and Dodgers. This is a storied rivalry that dates back over 100 years when both teams were in New York City. While the rivalry stirs up a lot of emotion, there was also a lot on the line because both teams are at the top of the standings, fighting for a precious playoff spot at the end of the season. With all this drama, each of the games included some unexpected challenges for the Giants. There were numerous bad calls by the umpires, each of which went against the Giants. This isn’t simply a fan’s overreaction to close calls. In each incident, the replays clearly showed the errors. And in each case, the calls went against the Giants.
The point is, life is complicated enough. Life has its own drama and challenges. Just like a baseball game, even in the midst of it all, there are moments of excitement and opportunity. Even happiness. But when stuff goes wrong that just shouldn’t, you have to wonder “are the breaks ever going to go my way?“
Yes, eventually things will turn around. As in the case of the Giants game yesterday, they actually won despite the bad breaks. The key is to rise above the challenges. Rise above the things that seem unfair. Rise above the victim mentality. We must be of such character that when things are stacked up against us, something rises up within us to overcome the obstacles and win anyway. Even if the outcome isn’t as we had hoped, at least we didn’t quit. Challenges are simply opportunities to be an overcomer.
Sometimes life lessons come when we’re not even looking for them.