Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hard Things



The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving. 
H.U. Westermayer

Yesterday I wrote a little about loss and grief.  I'm taking a step down from that today to things not quite as painful but still...a pain.

Today I’m grateful for hard things. Not concrete or tooth enamel, I’m talking about difficulties.
 

Grateful for difficulties?
 

Stay with me.
 

Having homeschooled my children, I often gave them assignments that were hard for them. “Why does it have to be so haaaaard?” they’d whine. It was obvious as their teacher that the only way they would learn was to do harder assignments. It was the only way to progress.
 

There are plenty of times when I ask the same question…in the same whiny voice.
 

And it’s as true for me as it is for kids in school. It has to be hard because it’s the only way we’ll progress. We can continue to do assignments that include only the one times tables or we can move on to the twelve times tables, long division, algebra.
 

We can continue on with only pleasant days or we can move on to disappointment, faults, big mistakes, hurt feelings, hassles.
 

When we think of our Heavenly Father in the role of the teacher, perhaps He’s giving us assignments. They’re hard. They will push us beyond what we’re comfortable with. We may not feel confident that we can handle the work. But just like any good teacher, He knows what is an appropriate assignment. He knows what we can handle and what we need to learn and progress.
 

I’m grateful for hard things.

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