You’ve probably heard the phrase “If it doesn’t kill you it will make you stronger.” Some cave under pressure instead of working through it. Tough times help mold you into a stronger person, a long as you keep plugging away.
At one time young men, who could not find their way sometimes, were offered a choice, enlist in the military or go to jail. It worked for some as basic training was a rigorous physical and mental exercise in which they were pushed beyond their known limits. They learned they can actually accomplish new tasks individually and as part of the team. These accomplishments gave them courage, strengthened their character, confidence in themselves, and provided tools to rely upon throughout life.
Unless you have always lived in a bubble, you have experienced tough situations. How you dealt with the tough situations help identify who you are.
Often people recognized as heroes believe others would have done what they did under the circumstances. They revealed who they are. I don’t recall any true heroes acting because it would help them make the cover of Time Magazine.
No matter what your station in life or situation you can be a hero to someone. Sometimes it just takes a small act of kindness to make a big difference in someone’s life.
I recently read an article how a nine year old prevented his newborn brother from being abducted from the hospital. Yes, he was a hero to his family. He just knew the women who picked up his brother was not acting as other nurses did and followed her.
I have witnessed mental health patients do small acts of kindness for other patients in the same locked ward.
I have witnessed some prisoners brighten the day of other prisoners.
Sure, there are enough evil things going on in this world to depress some people. I believe that no matter how bad your circumstances are, someone is worse off than you are.
The Priest who was beheaded at the Alter in his church has been reported to have said “Go away Devil”. His actions inspire others to remain faithful and strong in the face of evil and adversity.
We have many examples of people who faced evil and adversity, some battled depression also. Abraham Lincoln had many family tragedies, battled depression, lost a few elections, and was a Founding member of the new ant-slavery party, and became the first Republican President. A study of President Lincoln’s life will show he was tested by fire many times.
I believe God raises up certain people for certain times to lead, Abraham, Moses, Noah, Gideon, David are a few who come to mind, none of them was perfect. Not everyone would is raised up becomes famous. The attributes they all have in common is they stood strong in the face of evil and adversity as they were tested by fire.
The finest gold is refined by fire and had the dross removed. The evil and adversity we face is a way of having the dross removed from us as we are refined by fire. Just as the finest gold has the dross removed is the most valuable so are people who have the dross removed as they were tested by fire.
Testing by fire is inevitable; we have a say in the final product.
Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) http://www.narrowpathminstries.org and http://www.familyrewalcenteraz.org