Friday, October 22, 2010

Why We Have Difficulties


Why are we so often called on to endure difficulty?  It seems like life is filled with obstacles.  We have desires for this or that and often find that what we want is not possible.  Also, even when we don’t seem to have any desire, something we take for granted, like our good health or a close friend, is taken away from us.  Why is this the nature of our worldly life?
Elder Paisios says,
Sometimes God allows for a relative or a fellow worker to cause us problems in order to exercise our patience and humbleness; however, instead of being grateful for the chance God gives us, we react and refuse to be cured.  It is like refusing to pay the doctor who is giving us a shot when we are ill.
Apparently, God is always working to help us to grow in the virtues.  He wants us to be humble and to have great patience.  When we object to the roadblocks that are put in our path in life we are rejecting the medicine God is providing for our growth.
The Elder says,
God does not want us, His children, to be pestered.  He gives us temptations and hardships, in order to become perfect.  Temptations will cease to exist in our life, when we reach the level of perfection.
Christians ought to love afflictions and not try to get rid of them; afflictions are necessary means leading to our perfection.

Source: Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain, p 85

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