After dealing with yet another infestation of locusts that almost destroyed his crops, a farmer was at his wits’ end.
He looked up at the sky and began railing at God, “Sometimes you send so much rain that my entire crop drowns. And other times, you make it so hot that the relentless heat creates near-drought like conditions. And if it isn’t the rain or the heat, you send these darn bugs that infest and kill my crops.”
Shaking his head, he continued, “Look, God, you are the almighty, but when it comes to farming, I think you don’t know much about it. I have a suggestion. Why don’t you give me a chance to show you how farming is done. Let me tell you what climate conditions are ideal for my crops and I’ll show you how I can produce a golden harvest.”
God smiled and said, “Alright, it’s a deal. I’ll let you decide what you need and when you need it. I won’t interfere or intervene.”
That spring, the farmer planted wheat. When he wanted sunshine, he got sunshine and exactly the amount he asked for. When he wanted water, God allowed the rains to come. When he had enough, the rains stopped. He protected his crops from floods, and storms, and intense winds, and absolutely no pests could even touch his crops.
The crops grew tall and healthy. The farmer was ecstatic. He had never ever had such a golden, bountiful harvest. He thought to himself, “Now, God will learn how farming is done. All these years, he made us farmers suffer for no good reason.”
Soon it was summer and the farmer knew that harvesting wheat at the right time was very important. Again, he prayed that there would be no wind or storm to destroy the crop and then prepared for harvesting.
On a beautiful day when the climate conditions were perfect, the farmer began harvesting.
But within minutes, he dropped to the ground and began wailing in earnest.
The wheat plants that had grown to over 4 feet tall contained no kernels. The entire farm was filled with beautiful wheat plants but none of the crops had any wheat seeds.
The farmer cried, “God, what is this and why did this happen?”
Once again God smiled. Then he said, “This was bound to happen. You didn’t allow them to learn how to struggle because they never experienced any problems. Life was smooth sailing for them because you decided to make it so. They never learned how to stand taller in relentless rain or stoop a bit to withstand the intense heat. They never had to learn ways to survive because they never had to face or overcome any difficulties.”
The farmer hung his head and listened as God continued, “When we face difficulties, we learn ways to cope. And this makes us stronger. This strength gives us energy and the willpower to overcome the odds and survive.”
This is true for our lives too. We all wish for an easy life, without any hardships. How nice it would be if we didn’t have to face any suffering or shed any tears from the pain we’re going through.
But what would we be without facing any difficulties or struggling against the challenges that come our way?
Wouldn’t we be just like those wheat plants without the wheat – hollow and without any substance to us?
Challenges make us stronger. Without challenges, our life would be boring. Without obstacles, we’d feel no excitement or drive to achieve anything and there’d be no satisfaction or a sense of achievement if everything were handed to us on a platter.
Without challenges, our life will be mundane. We’d have nothing to look forward to. We’d never learn to fight. We’d never feel the excitement of working towards a goal or a sense of satisfaction when we achieve it. Life would feel like food without salt or watching a movie without sound. It would be like a colorless storybook or music without harmony.
The current situation is challenging and filled with stress. It’s painful too because of all the losses we’ve suffered and the financial hardships that almost each and every one of us will have to deal with.
But our problems are not bigger than God. Our fear cannot be bigger than our faith.
God knows best. God’s timings are perfect. So let’s all have faith in God.
This too shall pass and we’ll be stronger from having struggled against this difficulty and coming out on top of it.
P.S. If you don’t believe in God, believe in the universe – it’s the source that gives all living beings energy. The universe knows what’s best for all of us.