As you can see, I’m standing on the stairs of our house. Well, I love our home and I’ve come to love our stairs. But it wasn’t always that way. When we were looking for a house, we weren’t looking for a house with stairs. We were looking for a rancher! We were thinking, “Oh, as we get older, we want things to be flat, on one level. We don’t want any problems, and we certainly don’t want stairs!”
But before we came to look at this house, our realtor said, “Do you know what people who live to be 100 have in common? They all live in houses with stairs!” Hah! Smart realtor, huh?
But that made me stop and think about it. I said to myself: “Hey! Let me look at this a little differently! You know, I could maybe run up and down these stairs, or at least walk up them! And if that keeps me in shape, I could go for living to be 100!”
And that’s when it hit me—that’s how we are in life. We want no obstacles, no problems. We want smooth sailing, we want ranchers! But that’s not the way God made us to live, as evidenced by the fact that I bet not one of you has escaped having problems in your life!
Rather, when He made us, he designed us to grow, to become better today than we were yesterday. The bad news, if you want to look at it that way, is this simple fact: we need difficulties to overcome, we need fears to face and we need to figure out obstacles. Because, as Romans 5:3-4 says: “…..tribulation produces perseverance, and perseverance, character, and character, hope.”
I think the writer was basically saying, “yes, you’ll have problems, but it’s going to create some good things in you!” So, from that point of view, it’s really good news, even though most of us don’t “consider it all joy when we face trials,” as James wrote.
However, as we tackle those difficulties, and we don’t give up in spite of being afraid or discouraged, little by little, we learn and we grow. As a result, our faith and confidence grows.
Every time we learn something, every time we’ve grown a bit, we become more of who God has designed us to be. And remember, we’re the ones who win when we become the person we’re designed to be!
So I encourage you today—don’t be afraid to take that opportunity just because it has challenges. Don’t be afraid of the obstacles in your life; just look at them in a different way. Say to yourself, “these are the stairs that are going to keep me going, that are going to help me in many ways.”
And hey! Let’s live to be 100--We just have to look at stairs a different way!