What is adversity? According to Dictionary.com, adversity is an adverse or unfortunate event or circumstance, marked by misfortune or distress. Adversity comes in different forms, sources include mental, physical, financial , spiritual, social, or emotional. In my eyes, I view the midst of adversity as a person stranded on an Island with the necessary survival tools that are missing an essential piece. Stranded person might have a boat, but no motor or oars. There are trees to create the perfect shelter, but no ax. Fresh water springs, but no animals or edible source of protein. Sounds like this person is never going to make it through. Our stranded person frantically searches for a complete resource or a missing piece to another, when he spies something in the distance, washed up on shore. As he gets closer he realizes it’s a huge book with a ton of pages. Turning it over in his hands, he thinks to himself, “I could dry these pages and burn them for fire or I could read it hopes of an answer to my trial.” Suddenly a strong wind rocks him, nearly knocking him face first into the sand. Looking up, he sees dark clouds roaring in and he begins to panic. Fierce fear and anxiety grips his chest, and he cries out. Defeated and with low hope, he remembers the book in his hand and hunkers down behind a tree. He opens the book and begins to read aloud, realizing the book he holds is the bible, Gods word. Within moments, the storm begins to calm. He continues to read and read until the storm had passed. The storm raged, but he read anyway. See the resource he was missing was God’s truth, his promise.
What is your storm? My storm was a whole bundle of things from divorced parents to feeling forsaken. See, it is all about perception and perspective. Perception is how we think and perspective is how we see. With that knowledge and knowing that adversity WILL hit, filling ourselves up with Gods words, our perception begins to twist into holiness.“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4 NIV. Then our perspective begins to take a step back and starts to brighten and see the light. “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! Matthew 6:22-23 NIV. When our perspective and perception is fixed on the Lord God, we begin to allow God to shape our hearts and mature our minds.
When my parents got a divorce, feelings of anger and the question “WHY GOD?” began to ponder. I slowly began to hear that God was shaping me into who I really was. With out the divorce, without the emotions I had , with out my brother moving, and without these situations happening, I wouldn’t have been broken enough to have my eyes on Christ. I started to read His word and that’s when these puzzles pieces that broke began to be placed back together but with Gods picture, instead of my own.
Adversity can throw all of these arrows and bullets but as humans we were predestined with the gift of choice. The choice to choose to give all storms, battles, and trials to God and follow Him, or with stand it on our own. When arrows fly our way, God will give us a shield to withstand. When bullets are shot our way , God will give us body armor to protect us from those bullets. No matter the type of adversity, if we allow God to intervene, we will prevail. God leaves the ninety-nine just to save the one, because that is how gracious and loving He is. God doesn’t want to see you mourn and have pain, so He is reaching both arms out, the question is will you accept it?
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.
Matthew 18:10-14 NIV