I saw this sign while driving the other day, and I thought, “Life certainly has not been easy, but I can look back on my struggles and am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned.” Have I spent much time on Easy Street? No. Have I matured – emotionally and spiritually – through all of life’s challenges? Yes. It is an ongoing journey.
It’s hard to thank God in the midst of my pain and suffering. I’m not thankful for the hard times, but instead I’m grateful for His presence and promise to never leave me alone in the midst of my trials. I suppose I’m most thankful for the (eternal) hope that my faith in Christ provides, even when I am struggling. Let’s be clear: This is hard, and I stumble frequently.
I know that I would not have grown in the knowledge of myself and my faith without the trials and tribulations of life, and consequently, I would not be the person – still broken in places, admittedly, but on the journey of wholeness – I am today!
God brings hope, goodness, and joy – the flip side of pain and hardship. How grateful I am that the Lord repurposes the pain in my life and uses it for my ultimate good (Romans 8:28).
Here is my prayer for today: Dear Lord, thank You for keeping me off of “Easy Street”. I know that You do not cause pain, but You use and redeem it to teach me important lessons about myself, the people around me, and the purposes that You have designed for my life. Thanks for Your ceaseless love and care for me. In Jesus’s name I pray, Amen.