Posted by: Don Linnen | 30 January 2012

On Trial

The year began with the suffering of people I know. Failing health, loss of job, constant physical pain, growing tension at work, increasing financial stress – some or all of the trials many face.

Late this month I was reminded of the advantages of trials. Jim Denison recalled three wise men in his post of The Courage of Gabrielle Giffords:

Walt Disney noted that some men make difficulties, while difficulties make some men. You never really know what you can do until you must. Pain reveals the truth about our character.  

C.S. Lewis was right: “Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.”  

Winston Churchill added, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Within a day of reading Denison’s post, Sarah Young prompted me to look back on my own struggles. She said that “spiritual blessings come wrapped trials.”

It’s true. When we struggle to overcome, we are mining gold in our souls.

It is so, so hard to see that when you are hurting, exhausted, and discouraged. It’s hard to remember your objective was to drain the swamp when you’re up to your ass in alligators.

This is not to say “cheer up, things will get better.” Those testing points, as bad as they may be, are vital to our well being – to our character.

I say continue with courage through adversity. 

Winston Churchill said, “Never, never, never, never give up.”

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