Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass- it is about learning to dance in the rain.

Monday, March 03, 2008

It's not always Rainbows and Butterflies.
When it rains, it pours.
Pity Party
and other uplifting thoughts.

Why is it that conflict always comes crowding in? Never a solo appearance does it make. And why, oh why, does it always rear it's ugly head when I'm just not in the mood to deal with anything?

Not that I'm having major problems. Even in the midst of my pity party, I recognize that this is trivia. The perpetrator of a past conflict decides he wants to come and stay with us, at our house, totally ignoring the chaos he left in wake of his last visit. In spite of complicated and tangled relationships, I must find the word "no" in my vocabulary. (If anyone who really knows me reads this, you'll think that I'm out of my head. But really, I only "appear" to be so candid and forthright...I have trouble saying "no." That word is so FINAL! And I'm such a "let's fix-it" kind of person.)

And a few other situations that really need a .... what's that word again?

And at work, the lack of cooperation of a coworker is coming back to haunt me. Somehow it's now my fault that the report is lacking information she wouldn't give me.

And...sigh! My symptoms are better except that one in which I need to jump and run got it! Oh, Yeah, and that other one in which I just have no tolerance for stress...or is it fools? Didn't I procure a New Year's resolution about that?

So I'm thinking, God what are you trying to teach me? To carry an bigger umbrella?

And as though he actually was listening to me and my complaining (duh!), This was in my email today:

The University of Adversity
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman

"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed" (1 Peter 4:12-13).

I've observed a principle: The pathway to leadership almost always takes us through the valley of adversity. We see this principle not only in the story of Joseph, who endured thirteen years of adversity, but also in the lives of many other leaders in both the Old and New Testament.

Moses was raised in the royal splendor of Pharaoh's household in Egypt, but he was forced to flee and spend 40 years in desert exile before God spoke from a burning bush and called him to lead the Hebrew people out of slavery. Joshua spent the years of his youth as a slave in Egypt and his middle-aged years wandering in the desert at Moses' side. He was well acquainted with adversity when God called him to lead Israel's armies in the conquest of Canaan. The prophet Daniel had to pass through a fiery furnace and a den of hungry lions before he could reach a place of power and influence in the Babylonian courts. And we see this same pattern played out in the lives of David, Isaiah, Amos, Hosea and other Old Testament leaders.

Turning to the New Testament, we see that even Jesus had to face adversity in the desert, suffering hunger, thirst, temptation and opposition from Satan. Only then could He begin His public ministry. The Lord's disciples had to endure the loss of their Master, the failure of their own faith and character, and the dark days of despair between the cross and the empty tomb before they could become the founding leaders of the Lord's church.

It's hard to find anyone in Christian history who became a great leader without earning an advanced degree at the "University of Adversity."

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My problems just seems so petty to be considered "adversity." Shouldn't someone be throwing stones at me or something more major? (Gasp. Did I say that?) Or, am I just wanting to keep on "pityparty-ing?"


Still Learning said...

Step by step....he uses all for glory!

PJ said...


thailandchani said...

No one needs to throw stones at you. :) I believe the universe gives us things in appropriate doses, we get the lessons we need - even when they often appear to be ill-timed and obnoxious.

Luckily, I am fairly good at saying "no" and the guy who wants to come stay at your house? Um. I'd say "nope".


Maggie - Mom of Six said...

Dealing with my own pity parties here and just trying to stay focused on Him and what I can learn from ALL my situations.

storyteller said...

I love your new colorful floral header! Very pretty indeed! Interesting poem, graphic, and email in this post where you share recent frustrating experiences. Learning to say ‘no’ and mean it takes resolve and practice doesn’t it! If there’s one thing I learned (the hard way and repeatedly) is that we get ‘tested’ until we pass consistently … and that taking care of ‘me’ (by saying ‘no’ appropriately) is taking care of others in the best way possible.
Hugs and blessings,

thouartloosed said...

I can so relate. Thanks for this post. It puts a much needed perspective on stuff.

PJ said...

To Storyteller, you're so right. Taking care of me does mean saying "no" sometimes. A lesson I learn, then forget, then learn again. . . .

Ann said...

I hear you, PJ. And I love that email you shared with us and the timing in which you received it. I love it when that happens.

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