Her life was falling apart before her very eyes. She spoke to me about the catastrophes that she was going through—slammed with one trial after another. “Nothing is going right,” she had told me that night, “Nothing.” And I had to admit her life was rough. Things looked like they kept going from bad to worse in her life. There was no light at the end of her tunnel, not even a flashlight in her tunnel for her to carry, at least at first glance. But the truth is, there was plenty of light in her life, even it was not apparent to her nor to me at first glance. And this is the truth for all of us going through hardships. We just need to know where to look.
Often times in our lives we go through hardships and we begin to believe that everything is going wrong in every portion of our lives, but the truth is, that is the farthest thing from the truth. God has gifted us with many different blessings that can only be seen if we turn a grateful eye to these things and acknowledge their truths. Just like when one is in love, they only see the good, when we are in hardship we tend to only see the bad, and that only furthers our feelings of helplessness and despair.
Take, for example, the simple blessings of life that we experience every day, like the blessing of hot water. People in many places around the world don’t have the convenience of turning on their faucets and having warm water come out on the coldest of days. Don’t think it’s much? Try waiting for a cold day, turn off your heater and take a cold shower. Now imagine having to do this day in and day out without a choice? Imagine having to make wudu’ (ablution) every morning at fajr (morning prayer) in freezing cold water. Imagine how much irritation that may bring. And then thank Him for the blessing He gave us that we often take advantage of without thinking twice.
Another example is that of our kitchen stove, that turns on at the click of a button. Imagine not having that stove of yours in your kitchen. Imagine not being able to cook or warm your food with ease. Imagine having to, on a daily basis, walk outside and build a fire, perhaps gathering wood first, in order to feed yourself and your family. It would be tough, wouldn’t it? But how many times have we stopped and thanked God for our stove-tops and turn-knob buttons?
Lastly, but definitely not least, take a moment and think about your nose (YES your nose!). Have you ever stopped to think about what life would feel like if God had not gifted you and blessed you with a nose? Have you thought about how difficult it would be to enjoy food? We would not be able to enjoy the smell of baking cookies in the oven, or the smell of sweet perfume. We would not be able to smell the flowers as we walked past, or smell a yucky smell that warns us of something in our vicinity. But have we ever stopped to thank God for what He has given us regardless of our ingratitude.
These are just a few examples of the lights that God has gifted us that we graze over on a daily basis, though we never forget to dwell on (what seem like) misfortunes. We think that everything is going wrong, but really what is going wrong is our lack of perception of all of those things that are going right. So next time you feel stuck in a dark hole with no light in sight, don’t simply just wait for the light at the end of the tunnel; turn on your own flashlight by pinpointing the daily gifts that our Lord has gifted us and actually being happy that you have them and actually take the time to thank Him. He has already filled our lives with His Love and His Light, if only we take the time to open our eyes and realize it.