Slowing it wayyyyy dowwwwwwnnnn

By Jessica Brodie

A few weeks ago, my brother-in-law (who is, incidentally, one of the hardest-working guys I know) badly twisted his ankle. The next week, he broke his knee. Then, the weekend we visited him to help with some work projects during his recuperation, my assistant editor (A.K.A. Right Hand) at the newspaper I run took a tumble down her stairs. She’s out for the next who-knows-how-long with a broken ankle.

Isn’t that life for you? There we are, going-going-going at breakneck pace, then BOOM—something happens that forces us to slow down … or stop entirely.

It’s a tough thing to deal with, and yet who can argue? You can’t “get over” a broken knee or a heart attack or cancer with the right mindset. You’ve just got to deal with it the best way you can.

That’s where faith comes in. Now, whether or not we are a person of faith has (we think) no bearing on whether you recover. While people of very strong faith do survive cancer and go on to live until their nineties, other people of very strong faith do not. It’s one of God’s mysteries.

But faith plays a huge role in how we recover—specifically, how we live our lives during said adversity. When we have faith, we have hope and trust: that God is with us, that no matter how hard it is we’re not alone, that one day our pain will end no matter what that looks like. Faith helps us to bear our present adversity with grace and cheer, with contentment and joy. It helps us look beyond ourselves to what is truly more important—serving God—and strive to continue to serve him even in hardship.

Jesus told his disciples, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NIV).

Years later, the apostle Paul told the early church in Rome that we can take glory in our worldly troubles, “Because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:3-4).

It’s not easy when hard things happen. It’s not convenient, and it can be a downright pain—physically and emotionally, both for you and those around you.

But suffering and trouble are part of life. They’re inescapable.

Turning to Jesus and trusting that He’ll get you through this one way or the other, but in a way that is perfectly, beautifully designed just for you, is the best course.

Let me know in the comments below: how do you cope when hard things happen? How do you give it to God?

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