Have you ever attended a church service and the message was so prophetic to your life that it stuck with you for years? I had the pleasure of experiencing this under Rev. Thompson at Lee Chapel AME Church in Nashville TN.
I was a regular attendee at the church and enjoyed hearing him deliver the message each Sunday. However, one Sunday he began a sermon that was so profound in my eyes that I have recited its context on more occasions than I can recount.
Rev. Thompson’s message was basically, “We should pray for trials and tribulations in our life.” I was sitting there like, “What? Where in the world is he going with this?” He continued and explained that many of us pray for blessings in life; however, it is during our trials and tribulations that God knows how strong our faith is. It is during these moments when He can tell where our faith really lies.
Wow! That concept challenged everything that I had thought and believed until that moment. I always thought that when I had a problem, I should pray to God and He would solve it or send me the answer. No wonder I was such a mess back then. Using Rev. Thompson’s theory, I now believe that waking up each day is the blessing and it is up to me to make something special out of it. Further, when “stuff” happens, as it always does, I should not pray for God to remove my mountain but to give me the strength to climb it.
Have you ever been hiking or bike riding uphill? It is so hard and you wonder if you will make it. You forget about the hills in the past that you have climbed. You forget the resolve within and your internal strength. Instead, you focus on how difficult the hill, at this moment, is. Yet when you get to the top, it is the most exhilarating feeling because you have a sense of pride that you accomplished the seemingly impossible. The real fun part comes on the ride/walk down. It feels like it takes little to no effort and you have the feeling of satisfaction that your hill is behind you.
The same is true with life. Without those mountains (problems), we cannot appreciate the ride down. The next time you pray to God, try asking for more trials and tribulations. They will not only show God how strong you are but you might learn something about yourself because you are stronger than you probably imagine. In walking or bike riding our strength is in our muscles, however, in life our strength lies in our faith.