There was a time in my life when I dreamed of buying a soda but I didn’t have the 63 cents to buy one. There was a time in my life when I cried myself to sleep every night wishing for one more day with my deceased wife. There was a time in my life when I was the odd man out, the quiet one, the one that was picked on and called names. And I have spent much of my life crying out to God to take away what I experienced as a young child and the addictions that followed because of it. Why? Why did God give me such pain? Because He loves me.
I am who I am today because of where I have been. How can a knife be sharpened without a stone? Why would a person change if they are always comfortable and content? My life, every bit of my life is a gift. I was blessed when I had little to eat and I am blessed today with more than enough. I was blessed when I slept alone with tears in my eyes and I am blessed today with a beautiful wife. I am blessed today with a past that is always haunting me despite me asking God repeatedly to take it.
Even though I have experienced many struggles and heartaches in my life, God is not through with me yet. I am far from perfect. My life is far from perfect. I continue to weather storms as I struggle to finish the race that I am running. God continues to mold me along the way.
If you are still alive, you are not completely hardened. You are clay that can still be molded. It’s never too late for God to mold and shape you but you have to allow Him. If you smack His hands away with anger and resentment you won’t be changed. If you curse Him for trying to shape you into something beautiful He can’t help you. Those that emerge from trials and tragedy triumphant do not do so because they themselves are strong. They emerge because they surrender. They emerge because they realize their power and strength is not enough. They emerge because it’s not them causing the emerging. It’s the power of God.
The world says that everyone that runs a race deserves a prize because those that win have an unfair advantage. But don’t you know that all good gifts are from God? Some are blessed with the ability to jump. Some are blessed with the ability to think. Some are blessed with the ability to speak well. Not all gifts from God make us successful from the world’s perspective. Could it be that the one that won the race won because God wanted them to win? Could it be that God wanted them to have an ‘unfair’ advantage? Is being a winner while on earth really the blessing that the world makes it out to be anyway?
The world wants you to feel sorry for yourself if you don’t have a certain house, a certain car, or don’t make a certain amount of money. But blessed are those people that suffer to keep food on the table. Blessed are those people that don’t know how they will pay their next bill. Blessed are those that mourn a tragic loss. God is drawn to those that are in need. God is with those that cry out to Him.
The world and everything it teaches is wrong. Life is not fair. Not everyone wins. Not everyone deserves a prize. The truth is we don’t deserve anything. If I trained hard and won a race it wouldn’t be because of me. My power is worthless. Who gave me the ability to run? Who gave me the work ethic to work hard? Who gave me my good health?
Many of those that win while on earth only enjoy their winnings for a little while. Trophys rust. Power and popularity fade. Earthly winnings are only temporary. Your retirement nest egg can’t buy you an ocean view in heaven.
Despite what the world tells you, God has you right where He wants you. God has given you the gifts He wanted to give you. Humbly accept your lot in life. Realize how blessed you are. Am I saying to not dream, not have hope, and not work hard? Absolutely not! I am saying to praise God win or lose, rich or poor. If you win it’s because God wants you to win. If you lose it’s because God wants you to lose. God will mold and shape you through it all. Don’t envy what others have but look forward to what you will receive. Don’t place your hope in a president, a job, or a stock market. Place your hope in Jesus Christ. Everyone that runs after Him will win.
Matthew 5:3-5 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”