What’s the ONE thing that we are all going to have to deal with in life?

Facing life’s challenges.

As much as I would prefer life to be “challenge free,” it’s safe to conclude that that notion is a fictitious dream. Who hasn’t had to overcome some sort of challenge, loss, upset, hard time or disappointment in life?

We all have and I firmly believe that we only grow and become better as we face life’s giants.

A few days ago, I was watching the movie “Evan Almighty” where actor Morgan Freeman plays the role of God who summons a new age Noah to build an arc in order to save his family. I watched for comedic relief, not really expecting to learn anything profound but then when I least expected it, Morgan Freeman’s character (God) share priceless pearls of wisdom.

“When you pray for faith, do you think God injects the faith in you or does He give you an opportunity to have faith? When you pray for patience, do you think God gives you patience or He gives you an opportunity to be patient?”

I paused and immediately reflected on my current challenges. I thought to myself, “Maria, what are your challenges really trying to teach you? Faith, patience, trusting God?” As you know, everything I write about is mostly influenced by some personal circumstance or wisdom that I am learning on my journey which I choose to share in hopes of empowering you. No different this week.

The minute I started to see my challenges as an opportunity to strengthen my trust in God, my patience and my faith, I was able to let go of trying to figure everything out – which is still a daily challenge. I have prayed for God to strengthen my faith and I am certain that several of my current challenges are an opportunity for me to use my faith. They say that you will not know what faith really is until it’s all that you have. If faith is all you have left, then I suggest that you use it.

So what about you? What challenges are you facing that are really an opportunity?

Is that co-worker you continuously bump heads with a challenge or an opportunity to grow in compassion or leadership skills? Is the challenge of growing your business to the next level with limited resources a challenge or is it an opportunity for you to learn patience? Is the challenge of finding the ideal partner in life really a challenge or an opportunity for you to take some time to do some personal development to become better? Is the challenge of losing your job really a challenge or an opportunity to trust that God will take care of you?

If you do pray, pay attention to your prayers. Perhaps your prayers are being answered in a way that you did not expect. If you’ve prayed for courage, strength or a forgiving heart then maybe your challenge is really an opportunity to exude courage, strength or forgiveness.

Take some time this week to analyze your challenges and see the opportunity in each challenge you are currently facing. I want you to take a piece a paper, write down the challenge on top and then under it focus on the opportunity. Once you discover the opportunity, make a commitment to focus on the opportunity in the circumstance and not the circumstance itself.

I know it isn’t easy! I’ve been repeating “It’s an opportunity to have faith and trust God” for the past week now because I am so tempted to complain, worry and do something to fix it. Nevertheless, I’ve asked God to strengthened my faith and trust me when I say that He’s given me an opportunity to use it all year!

Now, which of your challenges is really an opportunity?


Maria I. Melendez