Challenges Are What We Thrive On: Alive, Part 16

by | Apr 13, 2020 | Alive, Holy Spirit, Trials

“If you fall to pieces in a crisis, there wasn’t much to you in the first place. (Proverbs 24:10, The Message)

“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.”(Hebrews 12:7-8, NIV)

One thing I have learned through my trek in this life is that adversity is an opportunity for growth. It’s true that most of us dislike trials, but imagine a life that went smoothly, without any problems. We would be bland, without any real character. It’s during adversity that we grow. The problem is that way too many look at these as legions from hell, not realizing that they are truly blessings from above.

The day before it had rained all night, so much so that we ended up with our own swimming pool at the entrance to our campsite. It did serve to make our entrance a bit more original than others!

The same was true while hiking around Peck Lake, at Algonquin Provincial Park. We soon discovered that due to the heavy rain from the previous day, our trek was filled with defying obstacles.

Our first challenge was to cross a rain-made waterfall that covered our way for at least ten meters. Truly, this first challenge nearly immobilized me. “There is no way I can cross that waterfall!” I affirmed.

“I will help you through,” my son assured me.

I guess I must have been hypnotized, for all I could do was repeat myself: “There is no way in can cross that waterfall!”

“We can do it,” insisted my son. “It’s just a temporary trial, and we can conquer it together!”

His words hit me like a ton of bricks. What was the worst that could happen if my foot slipped on the waterfall-soaked rocks? I would only wet my foot and slip. No big deal!

I followed my son’s advice, and with his help, I reached the other side without mishap. Ouf! Thank you Lord!

The trials were far from over though!

On our trek we noticed many of the ones who had trekked here before us that day had slipped or had been stuck in some yucky stuff. Their tracks helped us figure out how to avoid any of that. Their footprints spoke to us loud and clear.

Sometimes the roads were truly impassable. Mud and more mud, with water sprouting everywhere. How could this be possible? But by then I had some experience, and I relished these impassable passages. As a result of that muddy trail, we became rock specialists, stepping from one rock to another, and if there were no rocks, we resorted to other innovative means, such as clinging to a tree, swinging like Tarzan, or walking like a duck with one foot on each side of the trail. These adversities drew us closer to one another and motivated us even more to finish our trek.

Truly, when I first read the description of this trek, I was uninterested. It seemed quite boring to walk around a lake. It would be too easy! However, as it had rained quite hard, the easy trail became quite a challenge, thoroughly motivating both my son and I.

There is no growth without adversity. Without trials, life is way too boring and easy. During such an easy life, there is no opportunity to trust our Heavenly Dad. It is through challenges that we learn. We relish these when we look at them for what they truly are: opportunities for growth!

At times Dad has to reach out to us, like my son did, showing us the way out, and hugging us when we feel completely discouraged. He will see us through this! We are His sons and daughters, after all, and He is madly in love with us.

Other times, our Dad helps us through the example of other people, either good or bad. No matter what, God will see us through. We have nothing to fear. This is how we can be truly alive: by trusting our Heavenly Dad in hard times. After all, adversity is just an opportunity to grow closer to our Dad more than ever.

By the way, would you like to come to a pool party in front of our camp site? It may be quite muddy, but what a feast we will have!

Rob Chaffart
Written on August 20, 2014

(To access the entire “Alive” devotional series, please click here.)


Challenges Are What We Thrive On: Alive, Part 16