As a kid, my favorite teachers were the ones who made learning fun. There were songs, games, arts & crafts – tools for teachable moments that made you want to learn lessons like your ABC’s and multiplication tables.
Fast forward to “older and wiser”, I’ve learned that most lessons nowadays don’t come with a “fun pack”. Many lessons leave you feeling like you’re holding a reject box of Cracker Jack® – no prize inside, or the prize is a dud.
Life lessons get to the root of a character flaw, expose a hidden truth about ourselves – often through the teachers of loss, frustration, and pain. The process SUCKS at first, but Love promises a strong (sometimes unexpected) finish that will make our lives better in the end.
Have you learned or are you learning any of these life lessons that SUCK…at first?
1. It wasn’t yours to keep (for long OR forever).
Now, if you don’t have the gift of good-bye, you will by the end of this life lesson. Ever face a situation where you thought it would last forever, and if not forever, for longer than it did?
“I was supposed to climb the corporate ladder and retire from that job!”
“We were supposed to get married, and live happily ever after!”
“That was my vision/baby. Now I have to give it to someone else to take to the next level?!
This lesson SUCKS…at first. Why?
Because in the end, God reveals to us the beauty and richness of His abundance. Before the lesson, you think it/she/he is the end all, be all. With this lesson, you experience Love’s super-ability to give you more in the end than what you had in the beginning, yes! This life lesson is purposed to deprogram our belief in lack and limitations, and reveals who our ultimate Source is – not people or things, but God.
2. Suffering builds character.
Have you ever asked God, “God, wasn’t there some other way I could have learned X, rather than going through Y? Did it have to hurt/cost so much?” Funny how lessons are real easy to understand once we’ve learned them :). This sucks…at first. Why?
Because in the end, Love doesn’t make robots – God builds and strengthens humans who have choices. Some of our choices have weakened our character, stunted our personal growth, and darkened our road to destiny. Love uses purposed affliction, in just the right doses, to re-align our focus, and remind us of who God intended us to be. It’s hard to admit, but affliction saves lives.
3. You already had what you’ve been looking for.
Love has given each of us a starring role in our own stories of discovery, often through pain, loss, and misfortune. It SUCKS, at first, to be a “Dorothy” – afraid and far from home, seeking what only home can give you. As the “Prodigal Son”, it SUCKS, at first, to lose it all, only to struggle back to love over a bridge you thought was burned. As a “Neo”, it SUCKS, at first, to be immobilized by doubt and fear, close but not close enough, chased and attacked for a destiny you want to deny, but know you can’t.
In the end, you realize there’s a strength inside you that you’ve never known before. You face demons you never thought you could face – and win! You return home a better person, with a greater appreciation for what is, and always has been. To this Love says, “Welcome back… to You.”
Truth is, as long as you keep living, you will keep learning. Love never promised our life lessons would be a walk in the park, but Love guarantees that we will never walk alone – especially through the parts that SUCK.
Prayer-note: “Dear Love, I quit despising the pain that births my purpose. Thank you for every lesson.”