HOW nice life would be with no problems, right? You get up in the morning, and there’s a calm, a peace, a wonderful feeling of quiet because, wow, there’s no problem! You smile to yourself, and drift back into sleep, because there’s really nothing to apply your mind to, today! There’s no problem to keep you awake, your body goes back to sleep.
What a beautiful thought, right? And then I remind myself that the only people I am aware of who don’t have troubles are gathered in peaceful, little burial plots in a graveyard. Yes, do visit these people, as they lie dead, under a tree, and under a marble slab. There in the graveyard they have no care, no moment of stress and no obstacle to ruin a day. All is calm. All is serene. But if you’re still breathing, you have difficulties. It’s the way of life. And believe it or not, most of your problems may actually be better for you than you think. Let me explain.
Maybe you have seen the Great Barrier Reef, stretching some 1,800 miles from New Guinea to Australia. Tour guides regularly take visitors to view the reef. On one tour, the guide was asked an interesting question. “I notice that the lagoon side of the reef looks pale and lifeless, while the ocean side is vibrant and colourful,” a traveller observed. “Why is this?”
The guide gave an interesting answer: “The coral around the lagoon side is in still, calm water, with no challenge for its survival. It dies early. The coral on the ocean side is constantly being tested by wind, waves, storms; surges of power. It has to fight for survival every day of its life. As it is challenged and tested it changes and adapts. It grows healthy. It grows strong. And it reproduces.” Then he added this telling note: “That’s the way it is with every living organism.”
That’s how it is with people. Challenged and tested, we come alive. Like coral pounded by the sea, we grow. Physical demands can cause us to grow stronger. Mental and emotional stress can produce tough-mindedness and resiliency. Spiritual testing can produce strength of character and faithfulness. So if you have a problem, and somebody asks you how life is – just say, “I have problems!” Then grin, and go about solving those problems. That’s the only way, to grow strong and tough..!