Adversity takes us out of what was predictable and sets us down in unfamiliar territory. We don’t know what to expect and are temporarily thrown off balance. It changes our perception of what we think life ought to be. Our future looks dark and dismal. And the world of sunshine has become colorless and grey.
The refreshing summer rain is seen as an intrusion on our daily routines. The silent falling snow is only a hazard to driving; the sky full of twinkling stars is obliterated by flashing neon lights and the full moon that turns the earth into an exquisite and ethereal landscape never even registers in our consciousness. The beauty of the world around us has suddenly been transformed into obstacles of nuisance or irrelevance.
What transforms our world from one image to another? Has the world itself changed or have we changed? And why does it matter?
Adversity can so alter our perception of life that we no longer see blessings or anything of beauty or goodness.
It’s as though we have put on sun glasses that completely obliterate anything positive and encouraging. And in our desire and haste to find a new comfort zone, a new predictability, we remain focused on everything that is wrong.
Yet in the midst of our world that has been turned upside down, it is possible to pause, take off those dark glasses and see God’s creation and beauty that surrounds us every day.
In that pause and reflection we are reminded that God is still in charge. He has not abandoned us and continues to reach out to us in many ways.
In that pause, we become aware of the kindness of a stranger, the helping hand of a friend, or the encouraging words of the Psalmist.
Good things can come out of tragedies, misfortunes and adversities.
As we pick up the scattered pieces of our lives, we can reassemble them into a new, broader and more comprehensive picture of life. It is where we develop the muscles and strength to live a more meaningful life.