A woman tries but cannot conceive a child.
A man loses his wife to cancer after five years after marriage.
A child is born with Autism.
A much needed and deserved job promotion never comes.
The most precious thing in your life is taken away from you without warning.
There are an infinite number of stories about challenges people face. Stories of pain, confusion, and loss that only one who has experienced a similar hardship can understand. And with such experiences, even the most spiritual are tempted to ask, Why God? Why me? God, you are so great and powerful, why did you not fix this for me? Why did my prayer go unanswered?
If we had the answers to these questions, we would be all-knowing and in essence- we would be God. To pursue answers to the reason for why things happen the way they do can be fruitless in many circumstances. It is our choice how long we want to engage in such an unrelenting pursuit. Albeit, it is completely natural to want to shed tears of frustration and demand answers from God the way we would from our parents when we are young.
Jho na mile mujhe tho gila tujko,
(When things don’t go my way, I complain to you God)
Hota rehmat par bhi shakh mujko
(Even though you bless me by closing doors for my own protection, I doubt you)
One of the most difficult actions to practice is to look for blessings in a critical and seemingly hopeless situation. Holy scriptures tell us to give thanks in everything, every situation. It sounds easy. But when we go through a difficulty, sometimes we only focus on that problem.
Faith is an incredible thing. It has the power to change your perspective even when a situation outwardly remains the same. Faith in God means the belief that nothing is an accident. It is all ordained by Him. It is the belief that everything that happens, happens for a reason. With this realization, you automatically begin thanking Him and seeing His abundant blessings all around you. And when you have faith that God loves you, you know –without question- He is taking care of you (even when it doesn’t necessarily “feel” like it).
Ek jholi mein phool barein hain, ek jholi mein kante
(Someone has flowers, someone has thorns)
Tere bas mein kuch bhi nahin, yeh bantne vala jaane
(Nothing is in your hands, only the Doer knows)
Are koi karan hoga, arre koi karen hoga…
(There must be a reason, there must be a reason)
When our faith is shaken, the most important thing we can do is cling to it more than ever before- because that’s when we need it the most. In fact, in our darkest moments, faith alone is what can help us rise up and keep going. Without faith and God’s grace, there is no room for possibilities.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.”- Holy Bible
Vicissitudes are a part of life. Dawn only comes after darkness. A rainbow only comes after a storm. It’s funny how nature often depicts what is so true for our own life. We have seasons – spring and fall, sunny summers and dark winters. The best part about these seasonal changes in our lives is the knowledge that there is always a spring or summer just around the corner.
No prayer ever goes unanswered- sometimes the answer is just ‘no’ or ‘wait.’ Many times things don’t turn out as we would hope for in life, but that doesn’t mean God is angry with us or is not listening to our pleas. It just means He’s protecting us from something that could prove bad for us in the end. Or He has a better plan for us that may take time to bear fruit.
When a woman is pregnant – just by looking at her, the world may not know that she is carrying a child. In fact, her condition does not become visible for some time. But she knows, even though she can’t see her child, even though she may not be showing outward visible signs of her pregnancy, she knows with confidence that she is carrying a child. But it takes months for this miracle to become visible to the world. Sometimes God works the same way – in secret. You can’t see or feel Him working and it takes time, but with confidence, you can rest assured He is preparing you for the next miracle He has in store for you.
Never give up on prayer. But also don’t cling to your plans- because God’s plans are better. There are a lot of things in life we don’t control – like natural disasters that suddenly leave people homeless. Life changes quickly. Successful people are those who adapt to these changes. Saints are those who surrender to God’s will. If you do things His way and seek His will, He will bless you with sufficient grace so that you can find peace and strength in any situation. God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him.
Getting back to those questions raised at the beginning of this article…Why, God? Why me? Notice these are not questions we ask on a daily basis when things are going smoothly in life. We only ask such questions when we forget that we are made by God and for Him. Sometimes God has us go through challenges because He wants to draw our attention to Him. Sometimes He wants to use our tests as a testimony to grow faith in others by showing that with God’s grace one can come out of even the most trying situations unscathed. Whatever God’s reasons are- continuously thanking Him, keeping the company of positive saints, and a strong faith can help stabilize us when we face challenges.
“Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.” – Holy Bible