Friday, October 22, 2010

Why We Have Difficulties

Why are we so often called on to endure difficulty?  It seems like life is filled with obstacles.  We have desires for this or that and often find that what we want is not possible.  Also, even when we don’t seem to have any desire, something we take for granted, like our good health or a close friend, is taken away from us.  Why is this the nature of our worldly life?
Elder Paisios says,
Sometimes God allows for a relative or a fellow worker to cause us problems in order to exercise our patience and humbleness; however, instead of being grateful for the chance God gives us, we react and refuse to be cured.  It is like refusing to pay the doctor who is giving us a shot when we are ill.
Apparently, God is always working to help us to grow in the virtues.  He wants us to be humble and to have great patience.  When we object to the roadblocks that are put in our path in life we are rejecting the medicine God is providing for our growth.
The Elder says,
God does not want us, His children, to be pestered.  He gives us temptations and hardships, in order to become perfect.  Temptations will cease to exist in our life, when we reach the level of perfection.
Christians ought to love afflictions and not try to get rid of them; afflictions are necessary means leading to our perfection.


Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

All that the Elder says is, of course, true, and I have found it to be reliable from personal experience. I am very glad he also said this: "God does not want us, His children, to be pestered," because many people have an attitude that God wants us to suffer and to be pestered, for its own sake. I know they would not admit this, but they live as though it were true, and that gives them away.

My son said to me recently, "Dad, I believe that even this feeling of emptiness and pain is a beautiful part of life. That's what makes me human. I hope I'll not escape from the heat when being burnt."

I told him, "The feeling of emptiness and pain may be a part of life, but that is not what we are made for. It's just part of our training for the real life."

He responded, "That's a new idea for me. I think that we are created for toil."

"No, we are not created for toil," I told him. "We are created for joy. Otherwise Christ may as well not have come."

"Praise the Lord!" he exclaimed.

"Believe it, son, believe it! As love, by love, to love, and for joy. You are worthy. I love you, son." And I really meant every word I said.

FOCUS UNSW said...

Thank you, Romanos, for these encouraging words. Please keep all of us in your prayers.