When we arrive at the battleground land where the psyche seems foreign, and where we are an alien within ourselves, because our world has turned against us, we are easily overwhelmed by the magnitude and complexity of our problems.
It would be a serious understatement to say that we have all had our problems.
Problems are about as common to our humanity as breathing is. The common life has as both its role and responsibility the task of integrating responses to problems both large and compounding. Rarely would life feature as problem-free, and much of the time we are working within the context of a few problems at the same time.
Problems, we should note, are not bad in that they teach us resilience. We learn strength in the midst of working with our weaknesses. But hardly ever do we stop and wonder about our resilience—the strength of our resolve to gain mastery over our problems. The truth is we have all overcome some massive problems. We have become stronger, not weaker, because of our problems.
Acknowledging the Battles Already Overcome
Why is it that we don’t give ourselves the credit for the battles we have already overcome—for enduring life to this very day? Why have we not been more thankful before God that we got through? Our lives are often too busy for that, or we make comparisons with others which are generally unfair, that betray our contributions. Perhaps we don’t have trusted others speaking these truths into our lives.
By virtue of having lived his life, with its myriad difficulties, each of us has overcome significant battles in the making of us, today.
No matter who we are, or where we have come from, and no matter the lavishness of privilege or the despair of poverty, we, by our existence, have common dilemmas.
Our states of difficulty implicate us in challenging circumstances, disregarding our positions of life. God is fair in this: no one is spared of unique problems, but problems are common to all.
And now when we consider our own lives, putting other people in the background just for the moment, we can celebrate the hundreds and the thousands of problems we have overcome. This sort of reflective exercise breeds joy. In recognising our resilience our confidence rises.
The problems we have overcome in life should be celebrated. Our resilience to overcome ought to create wonder from within us. The joy this produces leads to thankfulness. God is faithful. In Jesus, we have hope, and that, because we have overcome.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.