I look around every day and see people who are talented, intelligent and fully capable of making an impact around them but in reality how many people actually make an impact? If you think about everyone you know, how many can you honestly say is making a difference right now? I would venture to say the number is quite low, and even among the people making an impact it’s quite limited. That’s why when somebody actually does make a huge impact it can be quite astonishing. At the same time, have you ever met anyone that’s made a huge impact that doesn’t have a great story? A great story is essential to a life of impact and purpose and the only way to get a great story to go through great suffering. Here are three keys to making an impact through joyful suffering:
Embrace The Suffering – When I was young I read James 1:1-4 2Dear brothers and sisters,a when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
To be honest I didn’t understand this scripture very well because I never learned how to embrace the pain and be ok with it. How can anyone be alright with suffering and actually find joy in? When I learned to let it hurt, really hurt down deep without trying to talk myself out of it, distract myself or even tell myself it would be ok I learned a valuable lesson. You can only grow and move forward by letting the pain in, change you, mold you and allow you to move on from it.
Learn From The Suffering – After letting the pain do its work without getting in it’s way by running to alcohol, smoking or talking your way out of it, it’s time to start reflecting on the issue. Ask yourself:
What am I supposed to learn from this?
How should I change?
What is God trying to tell me?
When you can answer these questions you will have learned a valuable lesson. It’s important not to skip this step because those who fail to learn from their past are doomed to repeat it.
Let The Suffering Change you –Many times this can be the hardest part because it takes true humility to let your suffering permanently change who you are. It’s an acknowledgment that the way you were was not good enough and even the way you are changing will most likely still not be good enough. When you are humble enough to accept these changes you will grow like never before. This growth is what will enable you to make an impact on others, to change lives and to become the person you were meant to be. We are constantly being refined in the fire of life, those who allow their suffering to mold and change them will come out a masterpiece while those who fight the fire will eventually be consumed by it.
After going through all three of these steps, which can take days or weeks it’s easy to be joyful, enthusiastic and ready to conquer the world. But it’s the man or woman that can be joyful and thankful for the trials while it’s happening that will truly have an impact in this world.
By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non-profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan