“These are the times in which a genius would wish to live,” wrote Abigail Adams to young John Quincy at the close of the War for Independence. “It is not in the still calm of life, or in the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties.”
I hope to never forget these wise words from a mother to son. This is wordy wisdom that points out the hard places and inspires our sons to tackle them and not flinch. It guides them to live roughly and strongly, not just without fear of suffering, but with a yearning for the lessons that pain teaches. We should not pray for an easy life for our sons, but for the difficulties that breed strong character. If we have prepared them, if we have bolstered them with small hardships under maternal compassion and protection, they will not falter when singing solo against the bitter wind.
Weigh your life circumstances and rejoice when you face hardships. Because know this: those hardships are teaching you things you will only learn through experience. (James 1:2-3)
Celebrate when you suffer! Especially in suffering for doing what is right. (1 Peter 4:12-13)