The defining moments in our darkest hours
by Ken Rolheiser
Her husband had been slipping in and out of a coma when suddenly he motioned for his wife to come closer. "You know,” he said, when I got fired, when I went bankrupt, when I got shot by a burglar, when we lost the house, you were always there. Even when my health failed, you stood by me."
"Now that I think about it, it sure looks like you bring me bad luck."

There is a light-hearted approach to facing our dark moments: “May your life be filled, as mine has been, with love and laughter; and remember, when things are rough all you need is ... Chocolate.”  Geraldine Solon

Actually, sometimes we need Jesus. Let me share a recent experience.

I was taking the Holy Communion to a hospital patient. The nurse had prepared me by suggesting this lady was feeling rough, and her mind was perhaps failing her. I went through the ritual prayers and she received the sacrament that was to give her strength.

Just before I left her she pleaded, “Help me!” She was feeling some desperation.

Sometimes we need to be Jesus for others. I put my hands on her head and prayed for Jesus to give her strength; to bless her. I reassured her that she was not alone in her suffering. Jesus was with her. And she had her Angel who is with her at all times. “We are never alone,” I reassured her.

In Psalm 34, King David declared,
“They [the virtuous] cry for help and Yahweh hears
  and rescues them from all their troubles;
  Yahweh is near to the broken-hearted,
  He helps those whose spirit is crushed.”

In an everyday life example Tyrell Mara shares why our darkest moments on the toughest days are essential to propel us to achieving success: “I walked out of the discus pit frustrated and distraught. “How will I ever make it to the Olympics throwing like this?

“Nothing was going right; nothing felt good, and each throw struggled to soar into the field. My coach continued to cue more over and over, but nothing seemed to be clicking. It was one of those days.

“And it sucked. I questioned everything about what I was doing. On the drive home I repeatedly asked myself why I am doing this – what’s the point after a terrible session like that.”

Tyrell reflects on how we have to struggle with our failing efforts. There are valleys, he concludes. And there are truths about “hard things”.

“Like it or not the hard days are actually the most important,” he muses. “The hard days are where we learn, grow and are presented with the opportunity to become better.

“Your defining moment is not when an athlete goes for that game winning play,” Tyrell says.  “The defining moments – yes they are countless – come long before during lonely training sessions, tough meetings and challenging executive decisions.

“If you can’t make it through the darkest moments of the toughest days you are not ready to climb this mountain.”

“The journey is the reward,” Tyrell says. Those tough training sessions, of which there are hundreds, “these are the days where someone else in the world is giving up.”

“Affliction is a good man's shining time.” Edward Young

In times of trouble it is good to be a Christian. “Even in my darkest hour the LORD will bless me with his power, HIS loving grace will sure abound, in HIS sweet care I shall be found.” Author unknown

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