What Does Hardship Cause?

     
    The past few days I've read a two books. They were both about women who endured gruelling hardships. The one book was 'The Girl With No Name', and the other was 'Evidence Not Seen'. I'll give you a short summary about what they're about.
    'The Girl With No Name' was about a girl who was kidnapped when she was five, and then abandoned in the jungles of Columbia. She lived with a family of monkeys until she was around ten, then was sold into slavery. She still has no idea who here parents were, or what her real name is, but she is now free and has a family of her own. It was a really interesting book, and it was crazy what the woman went through.
    'Evidence Not Seen' was about Darlene Diebler Rose, who was a missionary in New Guinea and a prisoner of war in WWII. She went through many things before she was placed in the Japanese prison camp, and then put on death row. She was miraculously saved, and released when the war was over. She returned to America, and then went back to Australia to work as a missionary again.
      Now these books were both really interesting, but I couldn't help but see the difference between these two women. There were many similarities, they both endured against all odds, and went through many hardships. But they also both came out completely different.
   Now before I tell you anything else about this, I want to clarify that I don't personally know Marina Chapman, so this is just what I gleaned from the book about her attitude.
      At one part in the book Marina asks a question, something like this. "What kind of God would do this to a girl?" She was living as a slave to a family of guerrillas. I can understand her anger, and I myself find it really sad that there are so many slave traffickers. But I of course have not gone through what she has.
    Still that question stricken me as a rather bitter one, and I know it is the attitude of so many today. They wonder why a kind and loving God would allow such things to happen. But as I read the book I saw the hand of God helping her all along. I did some research and my suspicions are confirmed of some very dangerous animals in the Columbia jungles. There are pumas, jaguars, and short eared dogs, bush dogs, as well as crocodiles and anacondas. These could all easily kill a five year old girl, who is all alone in the jungle for five years. In fact it would probably be very likely as at first she couldn't even climb trees. Does that seem a little miraculous that she wasn't killed that whole time? Like maybe someone was watching over her and protecting her?
    Next she was climbing up trees, 100-200 feet high. She didn't have a tail like the monkeys, and even though she fell a couple times she was always safe, slowed down by small bushes and such. In five years of climbing and running up trees, don't you think that it would be very likely that she'd fall and be killed? It sure does to me.
    I could list many other cases of things similar, but I'm only going to mention one more. When she was a slave, she got in a car accident, and they flew off a cliff, but were caught on a large tree. She was the sole survivor, as she had been hiding under the seat. This is just another amazing case of her being saved against all odds. I firmly believe that through all though years she was being watched by God, and He had His angels protecting her.
    Darlene on the other hand, always found something to be thankful for, even when she was on death row, locked in isolation, with some of her loved ones dead, sick with dysentry and vitamin deficiency. She always found something to be thankful for, even while being tortured and interrogated  for a crime she never committed. She forgave those who'd hurt her so much. She loved them, and chose not to be bitter.
     Now why did she end up having joy and being thankful, while Marina ended up being bitter towards others and God. They both endured hardships. They both were mistreated and unjustly judged. But Darlene had something different. She had the love of God.
     We have a choice. You can either let your pain make you bitter, or you can give it to God, and let Him use it to refine you. Like gold in a furnace that is burned till it is completely pure, so can we be made!
    Darlene certainly wasn't able to forgive and love with just a snap of her fingers. She had to pray and ask God to help her. She had to make an effort to see the good in people and in her situation. But she ended up completely happy and fulfilled. She saw that God had used this to make her strong and be able to trust Him. 
     We have this same choice. We have to choose to either forgive those who've hurt us, or let our bitterness eat us up. We have to choose to see the upside, or to only see the problems. We can be angry at God for the things that have gone wrong, or we can be thankful to Him for carrying us through it. It's all our attitude that affects the outcome! 
    What will you choose? 
“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” Proverbs 17:22
     "But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good..." Genesis 20:50

     "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 2:28
  Sincerely,
Rachel R

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