Behind Every Struggle

by: Benjie Bensing

Today, I was looking at the vastness of the desert. A shrub grows here and there, and the sweet smell of fresh air is a powerful reminder that things that matters most in life sometimes go unnoticed. As the rains pour down with reckless abandon, the once, vast, golden, sandy plains will magically transform into an enchanting green patch of unusual but beautiful desert plants within a few days.

When I think about the whole year of 2014, I can honestly say that it was a better year than 2013. I am saying this because I lost both of my parents in 2013. I also spent Christmas away from home for the first time in 14 years! I was stuck in Libya due to a work commitment and rotational restrictions. My daughter was so unhappy with the situation and I was so stressed out trying to make sense of what’s happening.

This year, 2014, most of my garden plants became the first casualties of a plant virus that look like aphids but actually of a different kind. Then my pet dog died due to a “heat stroke”. With tropical temperatures in the Philippines reaching sometimes up to more than 30 degrees centigrade, the unusual heat and humidity wreaked havoc on plants and animals alike. We buried our beloved pet, Tukmol, in a vacant lot behind our home. A huge ipil-ipil tree stand tall and wide as guardian to the tomb. My daughter and my son said their last farewell in sadness and I swear I could see tears welling up in my daughter’s eye.

The shedding of a tear gives a sense of closure, of healing, of finality – a memory to be embraced, a longing to be treasured, a love to be remembered.

photo credit: reuters - pictures of the year 2014

photo credit: reuters – pictures of the year 2014

As I was pondering these things I realized that we may not know it but struggles could be what we need in our lives. By allowing us to go through this life with struggles, God is actually helping us to develop resistance. Struggles are part of our lives: it is designed to makes us stronger and it gives us the ability to add in our survival tool kit the skills to adapt to a changing environment.

Struggle gives birth to victory. Taken positively, struggles gives strength to character and builds perseverance. As the ability to face difficulties increases, the tenacity to conquer overwhelming odds becomes an ingrained attitude of the heart.

You will not know that you overcome it unless you go through life with it.

There is a purpose in every struggle, a lesson in every difficulty. God’s grace is sufficient for our need, and if we rely on Him we will never face it alone.

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you”. (1 Peter 5:10, English Standard Version)



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