After riding and working with horses for so many years, I have been dumped, tossed, run away with, and deposited on the ground. I have been bitten, kicked, dragged, and stepped on. I have had horses buck, rear, spook, freeze, and stop at fences. Looking back at any one of those experiences could be enough to make a person just want to quit. But, each fall of a horse has taught me to be a better rider, and the challenging horses have helped me learn more about myself. Those experiences have certainly helped shape my character. If I were to just give up and walk away, then I wouldn’t learn how to become better. I am stronger and more determined now (and a lot harder for a horse to get rid of) because of all the ups and downs working with unpredictable animals can bring.
Life, too, can often be unpredictable and have many ups and downs. God doesn’t promise us an easy road just because we know Him and love Him and choose to do life with Him. However, He does promise to walk that road with us and provide us with everything we need to make it through stronger and tougher. Paul tells us in Romans 5:4-5 that problems and trials “help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.” Difficulties can help us grow and deepen our trust in God.