Fr. Roy Cimagala .
WE need to examine our attitude towards the unavoidable struggles we have in life. These struggles can be in all fronts—spiritual, moral, material, social, personal, etc. We need to ask ourselves whether we know why we have these struggles and whether they have some meaning and purpose. Otherwise, we would be eaten up simply with our fears and anxieties, and other anomalies like bitterness, sadness and the like.
We should consider this aspect of our life from the point of view of our Christian faith, since it is there where we can get a global picture. It is there where we can find the meaning and purpose of these struggles.
As long as we believe in God, in a God who continues to govern the whole of his creation with his abiding providence, then we have no reason to fear and to worry. God is completely in control, and if we are with him, somehow we also would be in control of whatever may happen in our life, especially in the area of our struggles.
Let’s remember that as said in the Book of Ecclesiastes, there is a time for everything—“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die…” (3,1)
Also, St. Paul assured us in his Letter to the Romans, that for those who love God, everything will work out for the good. (cfr. Rom 8,28)
That we have to have struggles in our life can mean a number of things. First, is that it is part of our nature to struggle since in this life we will always be a work in progress.
Our human nature is such that while it is already defined or set, it is something that is dynamic, something always in pursuit of its perfection which ultimately is when we become truly identified with God, since we are his image and likeness, and children of his. Our nature is not something rigid, since it is mainly spiritual more than material, ruled by freedom and love.
Besides, that we have struggles, challenges, trials and difficulties can only mean that God our Creator and Father has confidence over us to allow us to have these struggles, challenges, trials, etc. He does not let us handle struggles that are beyond our powers, but with these struggles he also gives us all the necessary means.
This assertion can be based on that parable of the three servants whose master gave them different amounts of money according to their capacity in order to cooperate with the business of the master. (cfr. Mt 25,14-30)
It conveys the message that God wants us to participate in his business which is to help in the governance of his creation. He wants us to cooperate with his providence. That is how we should understand the phenomenon of the struggles we have to tackle in our life. And we should just be game about it, trying our best with God’s grace to face these struggles as competently and with profit as possible.
What we should avoid is to do nothing about these struggles and to allow ourselves to be dominated by pessimism, doubts and fears by them, just like the third servant who did nothing with the money entrusted to him.
Obviously, not everything in our earthly struggles would lead to victory according to human standards. We have to expect some failures and defeats, for the simple reason that there are factors that are beyond our control. Just the same, as long as we struggle, we will always be victorious in the eyes of God. Thus, we should always be guided by our faith, more than by our human standards and criteria.