As we get closer to Christmas, while we await Life Himself, my thoughts turn to the journey. It's a difficult journey, to be sure. There will be anxiety, discomfort, pain, work, responsibility, fatigue, rejection, and in the end Joy.
When we try to take such control of our life, believing we make every decision at every turn OR that we must fix the situation that we didn't choose, we miss out on the unknown, the untapped, the unimaginable gifts that lie within AND without ~ the benefit of a cross sent straight from God.
We've all heard, "what doesn't kill us makes us stronger". There's a heck-of-a-lot to say for that inner strength, that self confidence, that lesson learned that all comes from bearing our crosses.
When I think of the greatest trials in my life I'm reminded of the pain and the struggle to get through each of these situations, sometimes years later or once again. I would never have chosen any of these trials. BUT, they have each led me to the most treasured gifts in my life.
We all know someone who's been laid off from their job and it's led to their dream job; someone who's boyfriend broke up with them which led to them meeting their spouse; someone who's had to deal with a life threatening illness which led them to reconnect with a family member or maybe even God. Which is really where life is supposed to lead us ... that's why He sends our crosses ... to lead us to Him.
Of course, hindsight (a blessing in itself) is to thank for the understanding I have as I sit here and type. As we grow and mature we learn the benefit of our crosses. We learn that our crosses are gifts of suffering on earth, from God. They truly are gifts! As St. Francis de Sales wrote:
"The everlasting God has, in His wisdom, foreseen from eternity the cross that He now presents to you, as a gift from His inmost heart. This cross He now sends you He has considered with His all-knowing eyes, understood with His divine mind, tested with His wise justice, warmed with His loving arms, and weighed with His own hands, to see that it be not one inch too large and not one ounce too heavy for you. He has blessed it with His holy Name, anointed it with His consolation, taken one last glance at you and your courage, and then sent it to you from heaven, a special greeting from God to you, an alms of the all-merciful love of God."
So, as we journey let us consider ~ ~ ~
Life is a gift.
There are no accidents.
Nothing is unplanned.
Good can come from difficulty.
In LIFE there is joy!