Difficulty reveals character. It’s what is exposed when all of your shallowness is hidden in the shadows while the depth of who you are gets exposed by stress. People don’t buy umbrellas on sunny days. When the rain comes, it drowns the hairspray of pretense and reveals the natural texture. Those who love you find beauty in what you thought were flaws.
You thought the mountain was manageable, but then a cloudy day turned into a storm. Your equipment breaks, your stuff gets stolen, and you don’t have enough to fix it or replace it. But, the mountain is still there and you still have to climb it. When it rains, it pours and you hope it just comes in three’s, but it doesn’t. You’ve lost count. Maybe it’s just the three worst. But it’s all so annoyingly inconvenient that it’s hard to distinguish which is worse.
“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.” -John 12:27
Any wisdom you may find is only borrowed.
There is purpose in difficulty and it is for that purpose that this difficulty has come. You thought you could get ahead, but it seems that every step forward is against a current. If crisis reveals character and testing increases faith, then the current is there to strengthen you. It seems you can’t get through, but every day passes and it’s one day closer to who-knows-what because it’s not crushing you. It’s not cruelty to be able to survive for another day of fighting the current.
It’s beautiful to finally reach your place of rest, that level ground after a long climb, and know that you got through it, but not be able to explain how. The lack of words is a pregnant silence. All those who have been there will know. You can see it in their eyes and you can see yourself more clearly in the reflection.
“You can always recognize who has been through the fires of sorrow and received himself, and you know that you can always go to him in your time of trouble and find that he has plenty of time for you.” -Oswald Chambers
We’re all in this together, but the hardest part is the one you have to do when you feel the most alone. You’re gong to get through it. And when you do, carve your name in the side of the mountain before you move on to your next destination. Leave a legacy next to the legacy of others so that the collection of names lets those who come after you know that they’re not the only ones.
Difficulty reveals character. It’s the most difficult when all the stuff you’ve been relying on to get you through gets taken away. What do you have now? Nothing but God, and that’s the way He wants it. Like a mother with an infant, He removes your toys and your blankets when He holds you the closest.