I would not want to give anyone a broken leg as a Christmas present (not even my own). I would not want to give anyone gout, COVID, blindness, or any infirmity because I don’t want to hurt people. I don’t want them to have to deal with another life-disrupting circumstance.
A definition of “hardship” can be found that says: “A condition that is difficult to endure; suffering; deprivation; oppression: lack of comfort: or constant toil / danger.”
A definition of “gift” (or present) can be found that says: “Something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation, like a notable capacity, talent, or endowment. Also, the act, right, or power of giving.
BUT, we are NOT God. We don’t “see” like He sees; we don’t “hear” like He hears, we don’t “understand things” like He does. So many Scriptures support that.
Habakkuk 3:19 says: “The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ (mountain goat / deer) feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. The inference is that when we are staring at an impregnable looking wall of obstruction, frustration, or infirmity; it looks TOO tall to overcome. It’s too much, too hard, takes too long, or requires too much sacrifice. But God KNOWS what He’s doing. He never gives too much or too little, too early or too late, or the wrong type of answer for the requirement.
How could we possibly review the hardship experienced by our Lord and Savior to provide that gift of eternal life? How can we humanly comprehend the offset needed to redeem billions from the total weight of sin? But HE DID. And he did it perfectly.
Let’s look at that from an earthly angle… When we find ourselves in the throws of a major situation, a major upheaval, a major life-changing circumstance; to whom do we turn?
1) First, we turn to God. Why? Because prayer and solitude to ask and listen are vital to start the communication.
2) Next, we usually find a trusted friend, family member, or qualified human to bounce some things off of. Why? Because THEY would pray for us, and offer support in various ways. But many times, we would seek out those who had survived or coped with circumstances or infirmities that were similar to ours. We went to those WITH EXPERIENCE.
So, it for many reasons that we may know of, or not know of, that God “gifts” us with hardships so we can be the future resource to ease someone else’s pain and suffering.
Someone down the line will need US to comfort them. “Lord, Thank You in advance for the things you plant in our ways to be YOUR voice in the words as we minister to others in our workplaces! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”