“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in times of comfort but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy” – Martin Luther King Jnr.
Where do you stand when your dreams are challenged? When life throws the ostensibly impossible obstacles along your way? Maybe you are going through that patch right now and all hopes seem lost of ever reaching that dream. Hello Friend! You are not alone. There’s nothing new under the heavens, the pattern employed by the devil to hinder you from fulfilling your purpose has not changed. Many a man has had their fair share of life’s troubles, so strong that some sadly gave up the dream of that “big picture” they so aspired to reach. While some others, rather than give up, saw the obstacle as “the opportunity” to make it to a higher altitude of life. Little wonder the Scripture says in I Corinthians 10: 13 that no temptation [whatsoever type of obstacle] that befalls you is uncommon to man.
Les Brown aptly describes life’s scenario when he said that he believes there are three kinds of people.
- The winners – who know what they want and understand their potentials and the possibilities. They take life on;
- The losers – who don’t have a clue as to who they are. They allow circumstances to shape their lives and their self-image; and
- The potential winners whose lives are just slightly out of alignment. I call them wayward winners. It may be that they just need to learn how to be real winners. Perhaps, they’ve hit a bump or two that has knocked them off course and they are temporarily befuddled. A failed relationship, a lost job, financial problems, unformed goals, lack of parental support, illness, many things can send us off course temporarily.
In truth, there are only two categories because for one to be a winner he/she must have gone through life’s trials and challenges to make it to the platform of being winners or gave up along the way and ended up as a loser.
Amidst the Tears
The essence of this piece is to encourage you to hold on despite the rough patch you are going through. Many a time, I have felt like giving up! Wondering why God, at that time, is allowing me to go through the dry and rough wilderness where nothing seems to happen. To make it worse the situation would seem to consistently tell me that it’s all over. At those times, [believe me, I have been there!] I weep deep within me wondering if my dream has always been a pipe dream! At such times, it is difficult for others to understand the rawness of a broken heart or the aching emptiness of an unguided spirit. You and I know. We have been there. Wayward winners know that there are possibilities out there, but too often they feel locked out from them. Some are afraid to risk anymore because of what they have risked and lost already.
But rather than give up, I encourage myself in the Lord. I speak continually to myself that “it is well” because all things work together for the good of those who love God and who are called according to His purpose [Romans 8:28]. So, I keep on keeping on, hoping against hope. Amidst the tears, I still look at people who have made it and encourage myself that if they can make it despite their frailties and challenges, then I too can make it. We learn through the lives of other men, this we can do by reading biographies of men, listening to the numerous stories in the print and electronic media of people who survived despite the odds and by so doing I tell myself “I can’t quit because of these challenges or fruitlessness, I will stick it out.” Job put it this way in chapter 14 verse 14: “If a man dies will he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait for my renewal to come” [NIV]. The King James Version put it this way “all the days of my appointed time will I wait till my change comes.”
Don’t Faint in the Days of Adversity
Don’t faint in the days of adversity which will surely come, learn how to protect the glow of your dream because this is your doorway to the future. Remember the sage warning in the book of Proverbs 24:10 [if you faint in the days of adversity, your strength is small]
A one-time president of the United States of America once expressed this advice, which you may do well to hearken to. He said; “You should nurse your dreams and protect them through bad times to the daylight which will surely come.”
The process of protecting your dream comes by:
- Watching your confessions,
- Keeping strong in prayer,
- Keeping your inner sight focused not on your present circumstance but on the DREAM, and
- Relaxing and never worrying about life because God is in control and He makes all things beautiful in His time.
The enduring passion for your dream, which you have protected through the storm, may eventually be what will defeat that storm as anything that fires the soul of a man causes impossibilities to disappear.
Finally, have it in mind that before opportunity crowns a man with great success, it usually tests him out through adversity to see what sort of mettle he is made of.
Shalom and see you at the top!