Happy are those who are strong in the Lord, who set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When they walk through the Valley of Weeping it will become a place of refreshing springs where pools of blessing collect after the rains.
If you don't go through hard times how do you learn to appreciate the good ones? ~Toie Kluck
Those words still make me cringe. They're more or less the words my mom used to encourage me to appreciate the bad circumstance we face in life. You know what it did instead? It made me hate the bad times all the more. I didn't want to hear about accepting the hard knocks in life. To me those words weren’t encouraging. So instead of welcoming Mom’s sound advice, when things were bad I chose to wallow in my misery and swim around in my sulkiness.
But awhile back when I was talking to a friend about some difficult moments in her life, I realized that the strong, independent woman I admire so much may not have existed had she not gone through some of her own hard times.
Now, I know better. It's through life's difficulties that I've learned to be hopeful, patient, more kind, more empathetic. My tenacity and ability to bounce back from difficult situations has increased ten-fold since I've been forced to learn to let things go and trust God for the outcomes of life's struggles.
Hard times have also made my faith grow like crazy. When things are tough you learn to hold on to hope. At times it's the only thing you have left to hang on to. When you see the seed of hope growing up to be the strong and mighty oak of reality, it makes you realize that the bad times are worth it . . . in the end.
So I guess Mother really does know best—the days that are good are much sweeter because of the struggles in life. Even more important, accepting each day for what it is makes me more content, less afraid, and ready for anything that comes my way—the good or the bad. And that, my friends, is a pretty beautiful place to be.
Hebrews 12:10 . . . But God’s discipline is always right and good for us because it means we will share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it is painful. But afterward there will be a quiet harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. (NLT)