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Newsletter - Hardship

Newsletter - Hardship

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Published by Braam Van Tonder

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Published by: Braam Van Tonder on Nov 18, 2012
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05/13/2014

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Hardship: A dear friend of mine recently asked me, “Why do bad things happen to good people?

” Now, most people face this question at some point in their life, and I’ve been asked this question many times, but I’m never really sure how to answer it. You could give the easy answer - “That’s just life, life is unfair.” Or even try and make it a Biblical answer, talking about how the Potter first moulds the clay before forming and baking it. I’m not writing about this because I’ve found the “right answer”. I cannot even say that I have a good answer, but I do have a certain view about it, an opinion that some might relate to. I can still remember a while back when there were some bad veld fires in the Karoo, which caused all the natural flowers to die and not bloom at the usual time. I also remember how disappointed people were who had planned to go and see the breath-taking view of the Karoo in full bloom, only to get there to see nothing but a black burnt horizon. Needless to say it was a grim sight, but as it turns out something did start to grow after a while. And, after closer inspection they noticed that it was a flower that they’d never seen there before. What I’m trying to communicate with this story is that sometimes you need to go through hardship to discover something new about yourself, something beautiful. One of my good friends, whom I’ve known since I started at 13thFLOOR in 2009, has a really good testimony about exactly this. He had a tough couple of years before he came to 13thFLOOR, being an atheist and substance abuser. Those are two really low lows that you can get to in life, I’d say. But he rose I’ve recently started reading this book, Waking the Dead by John Eldredge; and, though I above it all; he used his hardship as a foundation to build on. This allowed those hardships haven’t read much of it yet, it seems that what I am experiencing echoes in his thinking. to become something that he conquered, which cultivated growth. Today he is a passionate Christian and happily married to his beautiful wife, still living a life of ministry and serv- “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10) ing God. “The glory of God is man fully alive” (Saint Irenaeus) We all have our own stories of hardship.

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