I was on my Facebook Newsfeed the other day (yes, I spend more time on there than I would like to admit), and I scrolled past a video showcasing a contestant from America’s Got Talent. This contestant (like so many before her) has faced unthinkable trials in her short life. But you know what happened? She got on that stage, faced her fears and was an inspiration to all.
I got to thinking: what do I see people do when they are faced with trials? I came up with four possible options:
- People who turn around. Believe it or not, there is a lie floating among us that if we face a rock, bump or hole in the path we are on, that means we should go another way. These people don’t try to find a way through the bump in front of them, instead they think their circumstances are warning signs, as if success is the only way. While sometimes there are warning signs, more often than not our trials are a way to test and strengthen our endurance, passion and dedication to the goal set before us. (James 1)
- People who shut down. Another lie people buy into is that you can’t get out of the rut you’ve put yourself in. These people have no hope of getting out, so they give up on their dreams and shut down. Although I don’t have statistics, I wonder if this is why some people end up returning to our prison systems. I also wonder the same thing about those who see financial class as a boundary. If you are in a hole, stop looking down or at the walls around you. Look up. (Rom. 8:28)
- People who ignore it. At least for awhile, some people try to ignore the trial that is breathing on their face. They think that by ignoring it, the problem will disappear. This reminds me of a little kid playing hide-and-seek. Just because they close their eyes doesn’t mean they have disappeared. In the same way, we cannot close our eyes and wish our difficulties away. This world is filled with darkness; evil that lurks to trip us up and keep us from moving forward. Instead, we need to be ready to face our trials or else they will be more than we can handle. (Eph. 6:10-18)
- People who look for hope. Some people know there is good in the midst of the storm, and they set out to look for it. There is hope. In this world filled with darkness, there is light. (Matthew 7:7-8)
The audition video, explains that this young lady, Rion, has a physical disability–one she was born with. She is 13 in this audition. How much reason do you think Rion had to grow up depressed because she wasn’t like other girls or be mad at God because He gave her this specific condition?
In our culture, we often think that is how it should go. I see this especially when someone faces a trial that seems to have come from no where. We have a sense of entitlement that we don’t have to work for anything, and if it gets tough then we will go somewhere else.
As a Christian, we should be radiating joy like this young girl. Other people should be able to see that our hope is unwavering. We should not just look for hope but have it.
What would it take for a stranger to know that you have hope? What would you do if they asked you?
Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. 1 Peter 3:15