Paulelmo's Blog

Comforting Thoughts as We Come to the Close of a Tumultuous Year

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As we get to the end of what, for many of us, been the most difficult year we’ve ever lived, I am comforted. I realize that might be hard to comprehend, given the pandemic, the division brought on by the political tumult here in the States, and the increasing amount of upheaval in nature. Nonetheless, I am comforted.

I am comforted because I am here to write these words, and you are here to read them. Many are not. For many, the difficulties of the year were ultimate, and they will not be among us to greet the new year. When it seems so easy to think of all of the things we don’t have this year and all the difficulties and challenges we face, at least we have that; we have survived; we’re still alive to face those difficulties.

Still, that is not the main reason I am comforted. I am comforted because I know that everything that has happened this year has been according to God’s will. God has a destined path for us, and it’s not always smooth.

That may be difficult for some people to wrap their heads around. You might wonder how a loving God can want all of this tragedy to befall His children? That’s not how I look at it. I don’t think He relishes in giving us pain, fear, and tragedy; rather, I think He wants to see us get stronger.

Even secularly we say “Whatever doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” God aside, I don’t think there are many people who don’t believe that. Further, believing that, it stands to reason that the more difficult challenges we live through, the more pain and fear, the stronger we will become.

Mature adults realize that we don’t grow if life is all fun and ease. We grow when we have to persevere; we grow when the road is rough and the hurdles are many.

So, yes, this year has been difficult and fearful; there have been many hardships and hurdles. But we’re still here. We’ve made it through the difficulties and hardships; we’ve lived through the fear and cleared the hurdles. And we’re stronger for it. It hasn’t killed us.

So, whether we believe in God, we can believe that it is through the hardships that we grow and strengthen. And if we do believe in God, whether we can fathom that such as we’ve seen this year is His will or not, we can believe that we are stronger and more resilient for having lived through it.

Allowing for that, it should be easier to comprehend that these trials might be what God has given to help us grow. And if we can have faith in that, we can have faith that He’s not going to give us anything we can’t handle.

We can handle this. We have handled this. We are handling this. Is every decision we’ve made been the correct one? No. Have we stumbled and failed at some points? Sure we have. But everything has a learning curve. Every new obstacle we face presents us with challenges we’ve never faced before, and we’re not going to know how to scale them without some missteps.

So, yes, I am comforted. We’re still here. We’ve been tested, and maybe we haven’t passed with flying colors, but we haven’t failed. It hasn’t killed us, and it has made us stronger.

(These are incomplete thoughts, my friends, and I’m content to leave them as such. There are no perfect or completely write words ever, and there certainly aren’t when dealing with the trials that this world is dealing with. But we’re making it through it, and that alone should be enough to comfort us. I hope you take something from this, and I hope you and your family are blessed as we close out this crazy year. Always keep this in mind: No matter how difficult things are for you, someone has it worse; there is someone who would trade places with you without a second thought. Pray for those people, and let’s all try to find ways to better the lives of those who are less fortunate. I’ve always found that my life is fuller when I do.)

Love and prayers. I hope to see you back here sometime soon.

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