Life Training – Adversity – Will You Break Or Break Through?

You can learn through Life Training that Adversity can make you stronger. It is not your enemy. In fact, Adversity is proof that an enemy exists.

Adversity is an opportunity for promotion. Without Goliath…David would have stayed a lowly shepherd boy. With Goliath…David became a King! A rodeo rider wants the meanest bull he can get! He’ll get a better score. You need to remember, that it’s not what you are going “through” that matters … it’s what you are going “to” that matters! Adversity CAN make you stronger… if you let it

Wilma Rudolph was the 20th of 22 children. She was born prematurely and doctors didn’t expect her to survive. She did … but at the age of 4, she contracted double pneumonia and scarlet fever, which left her with her left leg paralyzed.

At the age of 9, on a beautiful Sunday, she removed the metal leg brace she had depended on for the past five years and began walking down the aisle of her church.

By 13, she had developed a rhythmic walk, which doctors said was a miracle. That same year, she decided she wanted to begin running. She entered her first race and came in last.

For the next three years, she came in dead last in every race she entered. But, she kept on running until the day came that she won a race.

Wilma became more determined than ever. In 1958, she began college at Tennessee State University and became a member of Ed Temple’s “Tigerbelles” track team. In 1960, she set a world record for the 200-meter dash during the Olympic trials.

Eventually, the little girl who was not supposed to live and then who was not supposed to be able to walk would win three Olympic gold medals.

She absolutely refused to let her Adversity deny her dreams. Her great testimony was a direct result of her great test. It is a fact that you can’t run before you walk. Do you understand that? You can’t sing before you talk. There is a natural order through Life Training…a progression, if you will, to growth.

Everybody wants these great testimonies of star athletes, business leaders, and public figures … right? Don’t you want 2000 cheering people to stand up and chant your name as you walk across the stage … and they plant a crown on your head … give you a scepter and sit you on a thrown, and allow you to pontificate for a while. Everybody wants those great testimonies. But I’m here to tell you … you can’t have a testimony until you’ve had a test. Let’s look at some of the lyrics from a song I wrote that I think are pertinent to our discussion.

The victor’s crown only goes to those who’ve been in war. Eagles can’t stay in their nest if they want to soar. Sitting on the sidelines you’ll never be your best. You can’t have a testimony ’til you’ve had a test.”

And the chorus goes,

You can’t have a testimony ’til you’ve had a test. First the trial of your faith then you will be blessed.
A seed must die, and be buried before it has success. You can’t have a testimony till you’ve had a test.

Isn’t that like life? Listen to the next verse.
“God won’t send thirsty people to an empty well. Heaven’s cup sure is sweeter once you’ve tasted hell.
There’s no wine until the grape had gone through the press. You can’t have a testimony ’til you’ve had a test.

Some of you want that sweet fragrance of wine. You want your life to be like a fine wine … getting better with age. But, you can’t have the “wine” until the “grape’- your life, your struggles – has gone through the press.

Adversity can build you. Challenges can cause the muscles to grow. Life Training can keep you. Think about this … you wouldn’t be what you are today unless you had walked through what you’ve had to walk through. You had to deal with those adversities. Unless you had known what it’s like to fail … unless you’ve tasted the bitter cup … you won’t understand the sweetness of success when it comes. And it will come!

It’s not how you act in the midst of adversity … it’s how you “re”act that will help determine your destiny.

Before the Civil War, Edmund McIlhenny operated a sugar plantation and a salt works on Avery Island, Louisiana. Yankee troops invaded the area in 1863, and McIlhenny had to flee. When he returned in 1865, his sugar fields and salt works were ruined.

One of the few things left were some hot Mexican peppers that had reseeded themselves in the kitchen garden. McIlhenny, who was living hand to mouth, started experimenting with the ground peppers to make a sauce that would liven up his dull diet. His new found sauce is known today as Tabasco sauce. To this day, over a hundred years later, the McIlhenny Company and its Tabasco business is still run by the McIlhenny family.

He allowed his Adversity to build him rather than break him. It has become a trite saying … none the less it’s true … when life gives you lemons … make lemonade!

Did you know that when a baby chick is born and you try to help it by taking off the shells that you are probably dooming that chick. Because the struggle to free itself it what develops it’s lungs and muscles. The fight to survive keeps it alive. There are battles we must fight if we are to live!

And when our struggles seem lost … and we face criticism … we have to realize that the only way we can avoid it easily is by saying nothing, doing nothing and being nothing!

Think about this … The higher we fly the smaller we appear to those who choose to stay on the ground!

Here’s some free advice … a freebee from Eby … Don’t talk to cynics and don’t address critics.

One more quick illustration … When a blacksmith is making a horseshoe it is a difficult process. He begins by heating the metal almost to the melting point … “almost” being the key word. He then pounds it and pounds it and pounds it. Then when it’s glowing hot and starting to take shape. He submerges it in water and cools it down. And then the whole process starts over again! Until finally, he has a shoe that can take all that the horse can give out. It’s been through so much … it will not fail its ultimate test.

Now, to end on a lighter note…

A bricklayer had an accident on a construction site and had to file a detailed report for his insurance company. This is what he wrote: “I’m a bricklayer by trade, and on the date of the accident I was working alone on the roof of a new six-story building. When I completed my work, I discovered that I had a sizable pile of bricks left over, and rather than carry the bricks down by hand, I decided to lower them in a barrel using a pulley that was attached to the edge of the roof on one side of the building. After securing the rope at ground level, I went back up to the roof, swung the barrel out, and loaded the bricks into the barrel.

I then went to the ground and untied the rope, holding it tightly to ensure slow descent of the bricks. You will notice I stated in block number 2 of the accident report form that I weigh 150 pounds. The bricks, I was soon to discover, weighed slightly more than 500 pounds. My weight was not enough to keep me down. Because of my surprise at being jerked off the ground by the weight of the bricks, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. (Life Training will teach you!)

Needless to say, I proceeded up the side of the building at a rather rapid rate of speed. In the vicinity of the third floor I met the barrel on its way down. This accounts for my broken ankle and lacerations along the left side of my body.

This encounter with the barrel slowed me down enough to minimize my injuries when I landed on the pile of bricks on the ground. I’m sorry to report that as I laid on my back looking at the empty barrel six stories above me, I again lost my presence of mind and let go of the rope. The empty barrel weighed more than the rope, so it came zooming back down. This explains my broken right arm.”

I hope your day is better than his was! But seriously.. using Adversity to your advantage is a power principle we all need to use!

It’s like this, folks ..sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If God allowed us to go through all our life without any obstacles, that would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been.

Don’t let Adversity break you. Through Life Training you can make up your mind to break through!