The Value of Adversity

Very often we hear parents say they want to do well so they can give their children the things they, the parents, did not have.  Usually when said they are referring to material items they want for their children and the struggles of life they wish to keep from their children.  Yet wise men tell us that the law of growth is struggle, stress and storms.  No pain – no gain.  Body builders know that repetitions and making muscles burn is what makes them stronger.  Material things do not grow character.  Joseph was sold as a slave. For forty years Moses fled Pharoah’s wrath.  Jacob wrestled with the angel.  Daniel was taken from his family to a conquerer’s land.  Each mountain to climb is an opportunity to be a better person. The history of our world is the history of struggle.

How ironic this is so often the very thing we want to keep from our children.  Love is not pampering.  Love is doing that which will make our children better people.  There are very few, if any, pleasures or satisfactions more gratifying than accomplishment.  To do that which is hard and to learn to do it well is why we are here.  Adam and Eve were to tend the garden.  They did not have angels coming to be their gardeners.

Heaven is not a place where we will instantly do all things well.  Heaven is the time it takes to learn, to practice, to struggle, to press our limits no matter how many centuries it might take.  God is glorified when His children accomplish, just as we applaud like crazy when our eight-year-old little leaguer finally gets a hit.

Written by Roger Bothwell on September 6, 2012

Spring of Life Ministry, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574