Adversity To Greatness

 Have you ever reached a goal or acquired something to discover it wasn’t really what you wanted?  We live in a society that enjoys disposing of possessions, relationships, jobs or simply whatever gets old or too difficult.

One of my husband’s favorite sayings is, “Adversity produces greatness.” It’s a phrase that calls for perseverance, no matter what:  difficult people, negative words, sickness, school, an irritating job, or maybe a troublesome marriage.   David calls it working through the “have to” side of your brain versus the “want to.”  Success pushes through and lives in the “have to.”

Nursing school was one of those times for me.  The very first day Dr. Johnson announced we would be responsible for writing two papers over the coming two semesters a minimum of 30 pages each, one on illness and one wellness.  I wanted to cry or die, either would’ve been fine at the time. This was back when we still used typewriters and word processors.   I was slow with typing and had always struggled with spelling.  When I received this assignment, I could hear my college English teacher from high school saying, “Did you not learn I before E except after C?”  Ah what a humiliating moment!  So with this assignment came a flood of discouragement.  Not only did I NOT want to do it, I didn’t think I could do it.  I spent a lot of time on my knees pleading with God for help.  I lived in the have to all the way through nursing school.  I wanted to give up and run away.  But I knew I had to persevere.  God hadn’t brought me that far to let me fail, and I knew it wasn’t His will for me to give up.

Joshua 1:9 and Proverbs 3:5-6 became my life verses.  I would fill in my name and recite them daily, which I recommend to anyone needing encouragement.  God was preparing me through the have to to later become a Critical Care nurse, which required tenacity every day on the job.  He was also readying me to write.  He knew then that He would later use it in my life (imperfections and all) for His glory.

This is why James said, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers {and sisters}, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4).

So adversity does produce greatness! It’s like gold, purification comes when it’s melted by fire.  Through trials and the have to, we learn and grow as Jesus purifies us. Fire does not feel good.  As matter of fact, I burned my finger tonight and wanted to cry.  I can attest to it, fire is painful and so is adversity!  Pain and struggles don’t define us, they refine us!  Through them God leaves us fitted to do what He’s calling us to do, mature and complete not lacking anything.  It’s not God’s will for us to always be looking for the easy way out.  He has an awesome plan for each of us that far exceeds anything we can imagine.  So when the going gets tough, trust in His plans and keep on keeping on!

2 thoughts on “Adversity To Greatness

    1. Rivera Douthit says:

      Haha…yes I know… blast from the past, hunh? Still in awe that we made it through her rotations:) Thanks Jen! Hope all is well with you. Call me sometime!

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