Don't Worry If you have problems, which is easy to say until you are in the midst of a really big one, I know. But the only people I am aware of who don't have troubles are gathered in little neighborhoods.
Most communities have at least one. We call them cemeteries. If you're breathing, you have difficulties.
It's the way of life. And believe it or not, most of your problems may actually be good for you. 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 colorful," a traveler observed. "Why is this?"
The guide gave an interesting answer: "The coral around the lagoon side is in still 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 everyday of it's 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 is 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, you have problems... no problem. Just tell yourself, "There I grow again."
The Talking Centipede
Jim decided life would be more fun if he had a pet. So he went to the pet store and told the owner that he wanted to buy an unusual pet. After some discussion, he finally bought a talking centipede, (100-legged bug), which came in a little white box to use for his house. He took the box back home, found a good spot for the box, and decided he would start off by taking his new pet to Church with him.
So Jim asked the centipede in the box, "Would you like to go to Church with me today? We will have a good time."
But there was no answer from his new pet.
This bothered Jim a bit, but he waited a few minutes and then asked again, "How about going to Church with me to hear Bro. Sam preach?"
But again, there was no answer from his new friend and pet. So, Jim waited a few minutes more, thinking about the situation.
Then Jim decided to invite the centipede one last time. This time he put his face up against the centipede's house and shouted,
"Hey, in there!
Would you like to go to Church with me and learn about God?"...
This time, a little voice came out of the box,
"I heard you the first time!
I'm putting my shoes on!"