‘Enjoying’ Adversity? (Regarding my last post)


My mother, God rest her soul, I honestly believe became in some way ‘addicted’ to the turmoil.  Please…don’t misunderstand me.  I am not saying she wanted it to be that way ‘consciously’.  But sometimes, when you have known a way for a long enough time…even when that way is difficult and bad…it somehow becomes preferable to the ‘unknown’…or something.  I don’t really know how to explain it.  But I know it happens, because I have experienced it too, though not exactly in the same way I think Mom did.

For me, my life was frequently full of adversity through the years…frequently some sort of drama going on.  And it was the times when there was no drama when I would tend to fall into a depression, interestingly.  As long as I had some adrenaline rush in whatever the difficult circumstances were, I thrived in a way.  Strange?  Yeah!  I think it’s definitely strange!  Yet it’s not all that uncommon either, I don’t think.  I certainly think there are a lot of people who become addicted to abusive relationships like my mother, or stressful situations like myself, etc.

Last night I posted this devotional from yesterday’s “My Utmost for His Highest”.  The Habit of Enjoying Adversity

So what IS that Oswald Chambers devotional saying?  Are we supposed to want adversity?  I look at this sentence that was toward the end of that devotional:

“It is one thing to choose adversity, and quite another to enter into adversity through the orchestrating of our circumstances by God’s sovereignty. And if God puts you into adversity, He is adequately sufficient to “supply all your need” (Philippians 4:19).”

So then, it’s not saying we should seek out some martyr’s life just for the sake of the adversity.  I think it’s saying that if that’s what we have before us, to handle it with as much joy and grace and strength through Jesus Christ in us, as we have in the absence of the adversity.  I think it’s saying, no matter what our circumstances, that Jesus should shine through us.  It’s saying that when we’re in the throws of some difficult circumstance, while we may still pray for God to deliver us from it, I think…meanwhile, we don’t wallow in self-pity and wear our misery like some sort of badge.  Instead…wear Jesus like a badge that shines from the inside, through it all!

Lord, help me to not hang my head in misery through the trials in my life.  Help me to bow my head in thanks to you…through whatever circumstances I have…good or bad…and to let my light shine through it all.  Amen.

 

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About Anne Sikes

"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." (2 Cor. 4:7) Sharing the journey through daily thoughts and struggles, examination of Scripture, poetry, music and art.
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9 Responses to ‘Enjoying’ Adversity? (Regarding my last post)

  1. Angela Tinker says:

    Well said, Anne.

    • Anne Sikes says:

      Thanks Angela. This is a topic that has troubled me for awhile, because I think a lot of people do think we’re supposed to ‘want’ to suffer, and doing so makes us holier somehow. But there’s a difference between wanting it and accepting it. 🙂 Love to you, Bill and the girls!!

  2. I’m probably the opposite of you. I have enough people in my life that live for adversity, and my life has been filled with adversity because of other people, that all I seek is a peaceful end to it. Yet often I find myself drawn into it when I have to stand up for my faith in Christ. But I much understand how some people (like you said about your mother) who seem addicted to it, and aren’t happy unless there is some in their lives. I think what made me want different is fishing. I love to take a chair, a book, and a fishing rod and just sit and fish. It’s quiet, calm, and I often would find myself in prayer, thanking God for his creation, for the quiet and peace. The one thing that would drive me crazy is to have someone create craziness into the scene, like an ex-husband who went crazy over a snake slithering near me, when I had been raised around snakes and knew what to do to keep myself safe, or when he would complain about how boring it was or be upset when I caught more fish than he did. To break that peace I was feeling would drive me crazy. Also there was something my mother use to have me do when I was angry with my father or my brothers. She would have me walk and count until I was calmed down. I remember walking out in the snow about an hour and coming home. Mom asked me if I was still mad, and I told her yes, and she sent me back out to walk. I was so angry I can’t remember even feeling the cold. I walked and counted until I forgot that I was angry. To this day, when I’m angry, I walk. I don’t even like to talk with the person I’m upset with until I walk and can talk like Christ would want me to. Having fibro and now bone spurs on my back have made walking difficult, and I’m having to find new ways to deal with anger, like telling everyone to leave me alone, and writing my anger out, or just crying it out. But for the most part my husband and Jk know to let me be when I’m upset, and that when I’m ready to talk it out I will come to them. I just like things to be peaceful now, and will steer clear of drama as much as I can.

    • Anne Sikes says:

      I desire the peace too, though. 🙂 Actually…I’m not like that so much anymore either. It was how I used to be, and I think because stuff was always going on. I’ve had enough turmoil and definitely prefer, and crave the peace. Maybe I should take up fishing. 🙂

  3. Pink Ninjabi says:

    I totally get what you’re saying as someone in my life has become so accustomed to certain angry reflexes and behaviors that it’s second nature more comfortable than adopting a calm stance that I instilled into myself with much discipline to this day to counteract these negative effects of harmful behavior. It’s not easy though, when we grow up witnessing such fight or flight reactions that teach us a split second emotion that we must cool within ourselves too. May you always stick to the temperatures that are most soothing for you. 😀

    Pink.

    • Anne Sikes says:

      Thank you. I spent a lot of years trying to undo unhealthy thought patterns with various things. Children do learn more from what they see than what they’re told. I saw a father who drank to escape his problems, and a mother who covered for him and really just wanted to pretend it wasn’t like that. Neither one was really dealing with it in a healthy way. But Mom was doing the best she knew how to do…so I’m not judging her. And as for me…I grew up. There comes a point where you have to take responsibility for doing whatever’s necessary to ‘clean up the mess’ that is your life, so to speak. 🙂

      • Pink Ninjabi says:

        Very true! I believe each adversity does give us an advantage in some way. For instance, in dealing with highly aggressive neurotic fly off the handle anger, I was able to better deal with difficult clients, irate behavior and the like quite well in my career. But the side effects has also been inability to speak up when I need to, stand up to bullies who are louder, and nervous in relationships in the belief they could implode any minute. But I’m learning. One page and blog 😉 at a time. 😀

        Pink.

        • Anne Sikes says:

          Ha ha! So true! 🙂 You do great! I think that’s very true, that even out of our adversities come strengths within us that could’ve only happened because of the adversities!

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