Suffering and storms of life are Normal
When I first landed in this great country, I arrived at JF Kennedy airport with 1$ and with no one to pick me up from the airport. It was in the dead of winter in January, and I felt like a chicken that had just been rescued from the deep blue waters. Not knowing what life had in store for me, I had two choices to pick from: To live in self pity and expect things handed over to me in payment for my origin, background and prior suffering or shake myself up and face reality. Reality was and has been for me that suffering isa universal fundamental human problem. Every human being must face this at one given time in life, the poor and the rich suffer. Some people’s suffering begins as soon as they are born; some later in life. But regardless of which stage you begin yours, accepting the fact that “suffering is normal” helps you rise up and be counted as an over-comer. In life the first and crucial thing to conquer is yourself, which includes your self taught habits, cultural habits and mindsets that have been in you for a long time. It is hard to fight you, it is hard to criticize you, and it is hard to be tough on yourself and do self-correction, so as to improve yourself and in the process be able to better the lives of others. If the so called “self ” goes unchecked it is easy to go through life chasing the wind and thinking everyone else was born lucky or more advantaged and blessed than you. I had to readjust my attitude and empty myself of some of the information I had been given about this country and I started my Journey of life anew. In particular, I realized that I need God more in America than I needed him in Africa.
How we respond to suffering at any stage of our life process is vital. As a child of God, may I remind you that your suffering is unique because it was tailored to fit you, your current circumstances, geographical location and cultural setting. And God already has put in you an ability to deal with it. Do not generalize your issue, nor try to use other people’s experiences on how they dealt with their same situation. You can just use these as a reference point, but remember your suffering might have the same name like everyone’s, but it is unique to you. How you handle it should be based on what you hear the Lord speak to you. There is no suffering that comes your way that our God is not aware of because He pays attention to every little detail of your life. Now not only does He pay attention, but He provides a way out of it. He might not quicken the process of your exit, because there is power in lingering in the storms and suffering in our lives when we know that God is in control. It is in the sufferings or storms of life you learn to swim either towards the currents or away from it. It is in the storm you learn to shout for help, and find out that at times no one pays attention to your suffering except God.
It is in suffering we develop muscles of hope, faith, love and determination. Honestly, speaking through my storms and suffering in life, I have developed the most unbreakable attitude towards life’s challenges. It is in the suffering or storm and even at times after the storm you discover that money, power, fame, and pleasure are not a measure of success.
What has suffering taught me as person, as I mention in my soon to be released book, is that, it has made me a better person and not a bitter person. Every person that I encounter in my life was written in my history with God and therefore I have to be careful on how I treat them. Through my suffering, I have learnt one great value of life that has brought joy and satisfaction in my daily life, and that is my true success in life began when I became single minded and focused on doing what God wanted me to do, and discovered that life was not about me, but about others. Through this I began investing my time, resources and money in the life of others. So there are those mornings when I wake up, feeling weak or discouraged, but I will receive a “thank-you” e-mail, text message or Facebook message from someone that I have invested in. This encourages me, and forces me to get up to reach the next person need. Friend, in 2014 be that person that blesses others, that person that puts others first, and be that person that cries to God on behalf of other people’s needs and sufferings. Something unique and powerful happens in your own situation when you take off your eyes from your suffering and lends a helping hand to another person.
Finally, there some lessons I have learnt on what not to do in the storm. On of the things I have learnt not to do in the storm, is complain, mummer, and make assumptions. I have learnt the importance of allowing for others’ input. I have learnt not to accept the word “impossible” and “defeat”. In fact, when a door you are sure had been opened by God closes, make a hole on the wall and try to go through it. It is also okay to be silent in the storm; not everyone should know you are in a storm and why you are in it in the first place. Stop justifying yourself; let God do that for you.
“Test me, Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind.” (Psalms 26:2)
By Evangelist Isabella