Years ago, I recorded a CD. I did it in a converted chicken coop with some friends who had their own equipment. Back then, I was a somewhat avid writer of music. When I would let my melancholy self out to play, I would generally wax philosophical and find some somber tune to match the melancholic words that would seem to roll effortlessly from my brain.
It’s not often that I find myself so vain as to quote any of the music that I wrote, but among all of the songs that I did pen, there were a few there that I was proud of, not the least of which was a song called “Why Have You Brought Me Here?”
In the years that have passed since I wrote the song, it seems that its poignancy has grown. I can return to the lyrics and find new meaning there, seeing how the song was not only relevant for my life at the time but almost prophetic for the life that was to come, completely unbeknownst to me.
Whenever I find myself in a difficult situation, I will ask myself what its purpose is and what I am supposed to learn from it. It’s cause for introspection and a helpful reminder to me that my pain is rarely or never wasted. There is always purpose behind it, although that purpose may not be evident then or even in the not too distant future, possibly not ever.
As I have faced some difficult situations over the last few years and even looked at the purpose of some current struggles, I have found myself asking that question over and over again. Why am I here? How did I get here? What is the purpose of the struggles in which I find myself?
Answers don’t always come, but sometimes answers aren’t the most important thing. Sometimes it’s the wrestling, the questioning, the struggling or coming to grips with the situation. Even if there are no valid conclusions, if it’s caused me to reflect and do some deeper self-criticism, I don’t think that I can say it’s a bad thing.
I don’t know that I can say that I am grateful when I experience difficulties. The Bible says to consider it joy when trials and difficulties come, I’m trying to get there, but it’s not an easy task. I work towards it in hopes that each subsequent struggle will get me a little closer than I was before.
In the meantime, I continue to ask the question and while it may seem vain and self-promoting, I occasionally listen to the song. It’s helped me to realize that there is a bigger picture to see, a picture that I am a part of that encompasses much more than the “now” experience. When we find ourselves in difficulties, we can get stuck in the weeds, failing to see the forest for the trees and missing the greater purpose in the midst of it.
Nope, I’m not there completely. It’s a journey, and it’s not for the weak of heart. I press forward and know that there is purpose in it. God doesn’t waste my pain and my growth is a process that will continue until the day that I breathe my last. Why has he brought me here? I might never know, but I’ll keep trying to find out, even in the midst of those dark and frustrating situations.