3 And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
Lent is a time for reflection, but reflecting inwards on yourself can be a daunting task, especially when you know that you have not been the best that you can be. When faced with suffering and tragedy, it can be difficult to remain steadfast in your faith and strong in spirit.
Nearly eight years ago, I came face-to-face with possibly the hardest thing I will ever have to deal with: I was diagnosed with Type I diabetes. For a long time, I struggled to come to terms with the fact that I would be burdened with this disease for my whole life. I felt that God had turned his back on me, forgotten about me in my hour of need. I resented Him, frequently asking what I did to deserve the punishment that I was given.
I am now able to look back and know that God was with me in my time of suffering. I finally understand that He was not punishing me, but simply allowing me to learn on my own that I am strong enough to live the life I was given. Like it is written in the scripture, “suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character.” What seemed like a tragedy at the time became one of the most important factors that shaped me into the person I am today.
Perseverance is essential to any journey, be it a faith journey, or simply a journey in your life. In this Lenten season, I implore you to be strong and be brave and be not afraid to turn to God in times of suffering.
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” (Reinhold Niebuhr)