Life is born out of struggle.  A baby must leave the comfort and security of the womb and make a difficult and perilous passage to enter this world. Before an eagle can soar to the heavens, it must push and peck its way out of the egg. And before a butterfly can delight us with its colors and grace, it must escape from its cocoon.

God allows these difficulties because trials and tests strengthen and shape our character. They make us better people and better Christians. Whenever we feel that the troubles are more than we can bear, we must trust that the Lord is greater than they are and He will not let us down.

When going through a rough time, it helps to put our troubles in perspective by considering what others have gone through.  It would also help if we reflect upon our blessings of which every man has many; not on our misfortunes of which all men have some.

While we may expect God to put an end to our problems right away, He knows that later is a better time. We just have to trust that His timing is flawless; that He is preparing us for a better life.

Helen Keller was both deaf and blind, yet she learned to write and even speak, and has encouraged and inspired hundreds of millions “handicapped” and “whole” alike. “I thank God for my handicaps,” she said, “for through them I have found myself, my work, and my God.”

Manny Pacquiao used to sleep on the sidewalks of Cotabato City, Philippines when he was a youngster. He received only an elementary school education. It was only recently that he took a high school equivalency exam, which he passed. He is also a military reservist with the rank of sergeant major in the Philippine Army. On November 14, 2009, Pacquiao set a new world record as the first boxer to become a seven-time-champion of the world in as many different weight divisions and later became an eight-time-division-champion in the subsequent year.  He has also leading roles in several movies, a singer and ran as a candidate for congress  and won in 2010. On May 19, 2016, Pacquiao was formally elected as a senator by the Commission on Elections.  What an accomplishment! Who knows what's next.

Wilma Rudolph weighed less than five pounds at birth, and contracted pneumonia, polio and scarlet fever when she was four. She couldn’t walk until she was 11. Yet she believed she could do something extraordinary, and she did. At the age of 20 she was the only athlete, male or female, to win three gold medals at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome. Wilma Rudolph was the “fastest woman alive.” She believed she could! All things work together for good!

John Milton was blind when he wrote England’s greatest epic poem, Paradise Lost. So was Fanny Crosby when she wrote more than 6,000 hymns. Beethoven was deaf when he wrote some of his greatest symphonies.

A serious traffic accident forced an 18-year-old Spaniard to abandon a promising career as a goaltender with the professional football team, Real Madrid. Instead, he spent nearly two years in a wheelchair. While hospitalized, he took an interest in music after a doctor’s assistant gave him a guitar. Several years later he won a national song contest with one of his own compositions, “La Vida Sigue Igual” (Life Goes On). The success led to his first recording contract and opened a new career for Julio Iglesias

I had to earn a living at a very young age while my classmates continued to high school, after my father died when I was six years old: selling bread, newspaper and as “jueteng collector” (an illegal local lottery}. I have to go to different places looking for something I did not know. In Cotabato, I had the opportunity to start high school after six years away from school while working in a vulcanizing shop and later as tractor driver.  I did not stop until I obtained a degree while working as a janitor in a university and a scholarship, graduated with flying colors (magna cum laude) and easily passed the CPA examinations.

Things don’t just happen; they’re part of a divine plan. The troubles, reverses, the sorrows, the rod are strokes of the Great Sculptor’s hand. They will come to pass. Something better and greater is working in our favor. We just have to believe and trust. Thank you, Lord for the opportunities. I am very grateful.

By Tim Pedrosa


When you feel like nothing is there but pain and hurt and great despair, that is when we know we need to not give up, whatever it is we're going through. We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.