In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity

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by C.E. Hilbert

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
Albert Einstein

Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear.
John 18:10

CHilbert April 2015
Some days you have to eat all of your brussel sprouts – and that stinks.
Some day’s life stinks.
It just does.

You lose your job because of cut-backs.
Your candidate doesn’t win the election.
Your friend dies.

Some day’s life just plain old stinks.

In the middle of dealing with the “stuff” on our plates – the icky things in life that make you wish the hardest thing you had to deal with was eating all of your brussel sprouts – we have a choice to make.

We can choose to be mad, discouraged and honked off by our circumstances….


We can choose to accept, embrace and navigate the brussel sprouts of life.

When we wallow in self-pity or discouragement because of a challenge we face – self-inflicted or something outside of our control – we allow the challenge to take center stage. Our lives become the emptiness of pain, jealousy, hatred and disgust. And in that emptiness we are essentially questioning God and His authority over our lives.

When we choose to see a challenge as an obstacle rather than an opportunity we choose to say that God doesn’t know what He is doing.

As hard as it may be to reconcile in our hearts, everything in our lives – the good, the bad and the ugly – has been allowed by God. And often, the bad and the ugliness of life teach us lessons we need to learn to press through the next challenge or obstacle. If we hadn’t had today’s stinky, brussel sprout day we would not be able to handle the broccoli day in two months or two years.

Jesus knew this. Jesus lived this.

Jesus was – IS – God. He came to earth so that we might be freed of the sins holding us in bondage. But in doing the freeing, he took upon himself a whole basket full of brussel sprouts.

The night before Jesus died for our sins, he was praying in the garden when Judas led a contingent of soldiers to capture him. He didn’t resist arrest. He accepted the Lord’s will because he knew he had to pass through the trial and the crucifixion so that we might be free. He knew that no matter how horrible his brussel sprouts tasted he had to eat it – he had to be obedient to his Father.

“Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup he Father has given me?” John 18:11

Peter was very human that night. He tried to defend Jesus – he tried to push Jesus’ brussel sprouts off of his plate.

But he was wrong.

Some day’s life stinks. Some day’s life is filled with a bushel of brussel sprouts and we are called to eat them so that we can have the beautiful dessert of Heaven with Jesus.

Jesus ate his sprouts. He followed God’s will – as painful and as difficult as it was.

Sometimes that is exactly what each of us needs to do. We need to eat the sprouts put on our plate. They aren’t always easy to chew – but they always have a purpose.

Courtney_Hilbert C.E. Hilbert, BA Business, Economics/International Politics. She works in Columbus, OH, in the fashion retailing industry by day and writes romantic fiction by night with golden retriever Daisy at her side. A half-crazed NHL hockey fan, C.E. owns a 110-year-old fixer-upper and believes that life goes best with Jesus, SportsCenter and a pretty pair of shoes. Her second novel, From Scratch will be released this summer from Pelican Book Group. Her debut novel, The Wooing of Jane Grey is available where books are sold.

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