When you fall into difficult times, don’t despair. It’s when we have walked the difficult times that we understand how much it means to someone in despair to receive kindness and mercy.
It is through difficult times that we realise that self righteousness and success may give us pride but too much pride actually makes us ugly. It is mercy and kindness that makes one beautiful. That’s why when our LORD Jesus walked on earth, He was never proud, He was full of grace, mercy, kindness and love.
If we learn it well, difficult times make us wise and beautiful. When you have gained this great wisdom, you will no longer find it a duty or a chore to do something for someone. You know how much people in despair needed that mercy, that simple act of kindness. You will want to do it because it makes you happy to see how your little acts are greatly cherished.
I make the list below to remind myself to remember to do them so that I do not rush through life preoccupied with daily chores and problems:
1.Seek out a forgotten friend
2.Hug someone tightly and say ‘I love you’
3.Express appreciation to someone
4.Gladden the heart of a child
5.Cook or bake something for someone
6.Smile. Laugh it off. Let it go.
7.Take a walk with a friend
8.Lessen the demands on others
9.Pray for someone who helped you when you hurt
10.Encourage an older person
I thank God for the wisdom gained through difficult times. It thought me what really matters in life and what activities to choose to fill into my life to make it meaningful.
The interesting thing I discovered is that when we face losses in life, e.g. when we are out of job or when a relationship ended, that we are in a period where we have more time. Friends, the good news I have for you is that such period don’t last forever. So make use of it to take time to do the little acts of kindness. You will find your heart being filled with joy and your soul strengthen. You will find your pains lessen. You may even discover new opportunities and solutions to solve your problems. It will make you happy again.
[The above list is adapted from ‘ 20 Gifts to Give’ in the book ‘ Lists to live by – The first collection – For everything that really matters’ by Alice Grav, Steve Stephens and John Van Diest. The list in the book is condensed from ‘The Finishing Touch’ by Charles R. Swindoll.