A common interview question is to ask the candidate about their greatest weakness and their greatest strength. It doesn’t take long to realize that a lot of times those are two sides of the same coins. What is often seen as a strength, can become a weakness if a person doesn’t use it appropriately or doesn’t balance it with other attributes. Someone may be a good listener, but because they are so good at listening they are reticent to speak up with their ideas. Another person may be exceptionally creative, but their desire to always think of new things keeps them from getting things done. What is seen as a gift can become a hindrance if not properly applied.
The same thing is true in the rest of our lives as well. People may be blessed with material wealth, but because they use it for the purpose of satisfying they desires, rather than pursuing God’s will, it hinders their walk with the Lord. Another may be blessed with a loving family but because they make their relationship with their family more important than their relationship with God, what should be a gift becomes an obstacle. This is why it’s so important that we keep first things, first. Otherwise we are prone to give lesser things a place of priority over that which is most crucial – knowing and loving our King.
It is also important to recognize that while we may be adept at turning good things into obstacles, God specializes in turning burdens into blessings. The things that we see as trials are often used to draw us closer to Him. The hope unfulfilled increases our dependence on Him. The time of mourning causes us to experience His nearness. The sorrows of this world grows our anticipation for the day when tears will be no more.
It’s hard to see as we are going through it. It’s hard to recognize that this pain may be used for God’s provision. But as Laura Story sings in one of my favorite songs [affiliate link] sometimes the trials of this life are His mercies in disguise. And we need to look beyond the burden in order to see the blessing.