There’s an old French story wherein a young man, who hates going to school, wanders into the forest and meets a little old lady, who gifts to him a silver ball with a golden thread. She tells him that it’s a magical ball and that the golden thread is representative of his life. Whenever he encounters a season or situation that he doesn’t want to live through, he just pulls the thread and it’s magically over, kind of like fast-forwarding. Excitedly, the boy takes the ball back to class and to his delight, he is able to speed through all of his courses directly to summer vacation. It works so well that he keeps doing it, and he ends up employing the golden string for his whole life; he hurries through seasons of suffering with hardly any notice. Then he gets to the end of his days, and he’s old and sick, and he doesn’t want to pull the thread anymore because he’s afraid that if he does, he will die. So he wanders back into the forest, weeping, for even though he didn’t suffer much in life, he didn’t fully live either. He finds the old lady and she asks him what he thought of her gift. He agreed that it had alleviated difficulty, but he also acknowledged that he didn’t really feel like he had lived much either. Ultimately, he admitted that if he could have one wish, he would want her to take the string back so he could endure suffering and hardships and thus experience the true joy of living.
Friend, many of us are like the boy in this story; we don’t recognize that the pains and struggles of life cause us to grow and make us richer in spirit. Instead of trying to “fast-forward” through difficulties, realize that whatever you’re enduring, although it’s not caused by God, will bring you closer to Him and that He will ultimately turn it around for good. Relax, trust in Him and allow Him to redeem your suffering, for He is faithful!