Affliction

SI ExifSuffering or distress due to ill health, physical or mental hardships

As threshing separates the corn from the chaff, so does affliction purify virtue. Francis Bacon

Affliction comes to us, not to make us sad but sober; not to make us sorry but wise. Henry Ward Beecher

Affliction is the school in which great virtues are acquired, in which great characters are formed.  Hannah 

   Those without afflictions, adversities, trials, and tribulations are being deprived of important aspects of life’s learning process. Just as we must use our muscles to make them stronger, we must use our mind in order for it to develop. Life requires that we experience hardship in order to grow and mature. They are numerous degrees of hardships that might come our way. Having an affliction means that we have some type of a significant life’s issue. It can be physical or mental or both. Sometimes it is a condition of birth and sometimes it develops during our lifetime. Sometimes afflictions require that we adjust or even rebuild our lives around the hardships they cause. Being bound to a wheel chair, bed ridden, loss of a limb, extreme pain, mental impairment, breathing issues; is only a short list of possibilities. Having an affliction requires us to learn to cope.

   Afflictions have a way of forcing us to deal with them. As a result, we learn to adjust, overcome, conquer, and live life to the best of our ability or face succumbing to our debilitation and wallowing in our misery. We may have to address life on a more basic level and may not be able to take for granted the things so many are doing. Many who suffer afflictions have a better outlook and more positive outlook on life that those of us who have no such difficulties or problems. Can it be that these individuals have experienced life in such a way that causes them to appreciate and be thankful for the basics, such as being alive at all, being able to function or being able to do the simplest of things that we take for granted? Many of us know someone who has a significant health issue or other handicap. Some have better and more positive outlooks than we do.

   These individuals should become our role models. Their dispositions, optimism and appreciation for all things should encourage us and motivate us to improve our attitude and outlook. Does this mean we should have an affliction in our lives to be more fully developed? Perhaps the more profound message is that we need to adopt an attitude of living that is more vitalized and dynamic. We are meant to experience life to the fullest, to grow and to develop, and to smell the roses and to be more grateful.

Challenge:  Are you a person who counts their blessings or dwells on their problems? If you count your blessings you are on the right path. A person who counts their problems will likely accumulate more of them. Commit to looking to the good in your life and proper managing of the bad. Life is what we make of it. Whether we have an affliction or not, we should be appreciative of our blessings and live our life more to the fullest.

Wisdom: When something, an affliction happens to you, you either let it defeat you, or you defeat it Rousseau

Spiritual: (NIV)

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73.28

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10: 23

It is so easy for us to focus on all our problems, pains and aches. Sometimes we cannot see the forest for the trees. There is always a bigger picture. That bigger picture requires us to keep our eyes on God and trusting that he has our back, our present and our future safely in his hands. To do this we have to lift up our eyes, hearts and minds from our troubles and look to him. He enables and empowers us to stay on top of this life.

Prayer:  Help me to keep my heart and soul looking to you and not succumbing to the pressures of this life.

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