By Guy Cohen
When a baby is born we get so
excited! Our hearts open wide. A glow of blessing rests visibly on the
mother and the newborn.
Life is a gift from God, yet the destiny of each newborn is known only to
his or her Creator. Where will his journey take him? What will she
do in her lifetime? God has a purpose for all creatures, including - of
course - each new human being. Each life has meaning and worth. No one is
an accident, even those born with severe handicaps.
As they grow, parents endeavor to instill tools in their young ones, to
equip and prepare them for all that life holds. Parents guide the
child's path of discovery and stimulate his senses: sight, touch,
hearing, smelling ... it is wonderful to see.
In the coming years, teachers, counselors, leaders and others will speak
into the child's life. He will mature and find ways to overcome personal
and environmental obstacles. All this eventually helps the now
grown child find his place in society, stand on his own and fulfill his
destiny. On the way he or she may well get married. The new couple will
grow and learn from each other. Soon a baby will be born, starting the
whole miraculous cycle over again.
Scoring Under Pressure
When a basketball player stands on the foul line to shoot a free throw,
the opposing crowd makes noise trying to distract the player's
attention and cause him to miss. Coaches prepare their players for this
difficult situation by applying various pressures during practice
sessions. This is done for a good purpose - to get the player
accustomed to focusing on the goal, and not allowing himself to be
confused and affected by adversity.
In the same manner, a teen or young adult is surrounded by a whole series
of pressures and demands. That carefully coddled and educated baby grew
up and is now exposed to a world full of things that are liable to
confuse and distract him from the goal. Parents have the central
all-important task of continuing to diligently rear and protect; to pass
on skills that will stand strong against the storms and pressures of
society. Indeed bad company corrupts good morals, and we must always work
toward having good company around our children. But our main role is to
exemplify a life of integrity and faith, a foundation of trust in the
Our journey is defined by our responses to the difficulties we encounter.
Challenges shape our character, change our thought patterns and give us
he desire to improve. External crises can come from peers and society.
nternal ones are me trying to deal with my identity. Who and what am I?
hy am I here on this earth? For what purpose?
There is no such thing as a life without some kind of effort and
struggle. These difficulties can drive the believer who is well trained
in the Word of God, to trust in the Lord's overall plan and to stand
fast, declaring victory. The Bible reveals to us the purpose of our time
here on earth. We are journeying through this existence towards the
eternal One who is our future.
Even mature believers have trials and challenges. These crises give us
the opportunity to take a break from our busy routines, and internalize
how we can move forward with improvement and change. Perhaps we have made
mistakes, and the Lord wants us to alter the way we do certain things.
We must always be ready to be transformed, all the while dedicating our
lives to Yeshua and putting aside our personal desires to serve His
purposes. At the end of the day His will is going to be a whole lot
better for me and everyone else, than mine!
Let us stand, focused and prepared to deal with any turmoil the enemy
might send our way, since he goes around like a lion seeking to devour
(1 Peter 5:8).
This temporal journey through the valley of sun and shadow is a great
gift. Allow God to guide you and strengthen you, through the obstacles
along the journey.