Spirituality for Today – December 2014 – Volume 19, Issue 5

Life is Hard but God is Good

Rev. Dr. Jerom Paul

A photo of a snow covered road

The Road Less Travelled by Scott Peck opens with the sentence: "Life is difficult". It is true in many ways. In the modern world, in spite of the technological development and spiritual revivals, unchallengeable achievements and unbeatable successes, for many – life is hard. We may often ask ourselves an unanswered question when faced with unpleasant events in life: if God is good, why is life so hard? Life is difficult for many because what awaits a person after a peaceful rest and what challenges him daily are the deep rooted experiences of war, unemployment, sickness, crimes, natural calamities, scandals and terrorism etc. At this point of restlessness, the question which haunts us continuously and a question which no one could satisfactorily answer is the question where is God hiding himself when such unfortunate events occur in our life? Why does God allow them in our life?

Human life has been a riddle and would be so as long as it remains a mixture of sorrow and happiness, evil and suffering, good and bad. No Definition on the why of human life and its suffering may fully satisfy a person who suffers just for the reason that every person, his very life and every event– good or bad– that happens in his life is unique. However one may try, nobody will succeed to fully comprehend the other. Consequently, many people find it difficult to paint on the canvas of life the real picture of their life in true colours blended beautifully. Unable to face the painful journey of life with unanswerable questions, they may end up in the company of losers. There are people who feel a lot of resentment about the way life has treated them. Why not accept life as it is and understand the simple and beautiful truth; life is beautiful and God is good.

On the journey of our life, when the road seems uneven, we should always remember that what makes us happy is not the success or pleasant occurrences or what happens to us in life but happiness depends on how we deal with what happens to us. We must have a proper attitude towards life, because many things every day leave us out of control. If one has a right attitude to life, he could be happy even amidst the adversities and painful experiences. What about you? Is life hard or difficult?

Fortunately, you have yet another day to try your luck. Today is the right day and now is the right time to enjoy the beauty of our life making the right choice to bury the past unpleasant memories and present unsuccessful attempts in the oblivion of history for ever and start anew with the choice to be counted among the happy and the satisfied. Let us make use of this precious offer immediately before someone else grabs our happiness putting us once again in the pool of melancholy. What the giver of life offers us today is a bunch of three precious magic keys which will open the dark corners of our lives and take us to the horizon of unending and impeccable happiness and joy.

The first key will help us open the door of the power house of our life. Once we comprehend the real source and foundation of our life and life as a gratuitous gift, then we will also understand that we are only custodians of our life and not real owners. So it has to be returned to the giver when asked for. No matter one likes it or not, all created beings have to depart from this world. This departure could be painful to those who have not been prepared for it. For a believer in God it becomes easier to leave this world of unpredictables with the hope for a better tomorrow and a life after. Hence, the first key will tell us to trust in God who gave us life and in his omnipotence and omniscience that nothing can go wrong in my life without his knowledge. Whatever happens, happens for good. Because giver of life is good and he is a God of Good things.

The second magical key to open the treasury of our life is to accept our uniqueness. Every person is a unique creation non–comparable with others. If one could avoid any comparison of his life with that of others, certainly he will be more cheerful, content and satisfied with what he has rather than brooding over the have–nots. Comparisons could lead to depression and devastation. The talents we are gifted with, the circumstances in which we live differ from that of our neighbors. Our interests, life perspectives, aptitudes, temperaments, economic background, educational qualifications, religious practices, likes and dislikes, the upbringing and the very physique itself etc are never the same. How could a comparison be possible if differences outnumber the resemblances? If anyone practices this philosophy and accepts his uniqueness, he would accept life as it is and live life in its fullness. You are you and you are remarkably good at what you are created for.

Whatever be the obstacles in our life which hinder us from living a life useful to others, always think of the beautiful and fragrant roses on a thorny rose plant. We should constantly nurture a positive attitude towards life and its vicissitudes. A shift in our approach and attitude from fault–finding to appreciation finding will enhance our joy in living our life gracefully. The positive attitude heals the inner wounds and gives a new life to the person. It will certainly bring sunshine on the dark corners of our life. A positive approach in life in the place of negativity would help an ordinary person to lead an extraordinary life. People would admire and imitate him. Remember; never leave this world without leaving a legacy for your posterity. And this is the last key to a grace–filled life: take life positively.