Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the difficulties in your life—physical, financial, relational, spiritual, or otherwise? Do you grow angry with God for these struggles? Fr. Matthew Spencer, host of St. Joseph’s Workshop on Relevant Radio, has had health struggles to overcome in his life. He shared his experience in the hope that you might too find peace and strength when facing your crosses.
“I have difficulties in my life, too, believe it or not. There are challenges that God has allowed in my life. Some of these remain a mystery between me and God and remain quiet and unknown to others, but sometimes those difficulties and challenges become evident to other people,” said Fr. Matthew. “And in my case, I had serious health difficulties eighteen years ago that are evident to people I meet because they left me with disabilities—a weakness in the left side of my body. Actually, it’s not so bad, some people don’t even notice. They notice a limp so they might think I have a joint problem in my knee or struggle in my ankle; they don’t notice that actually the whole left side of my body is weak because of a brain injury that I had.”
“I was talking to a friend of mine recently and he was asking me, ‘Are you ever resentful of the difficulties that you’ve had to go through in life?’ And what he was referring to, from what I gathered in the moment, was these challenges physically that I’ve had a tough time with over the last eighteen years. It was tough right after it happened and it was really hard, as anyone who’s gone through serious medical difficulties knows. It got easier and easier over time, but there’s the ongoing day in and day out little struggles,” explained Fr. Matthew.
“I just can’t do things that other people can do. Well, I guess that’s the case with all of us, right? Not everybody is going to be able to do what I can do, and that’s just part of what it means to be human. God blesses us with certain capacities and blesses us by not giving us other capacities. And I say that very pointedly there, very intentionally, that just because I can’t ski the way that somebody else could, just because I can’t play basketball the way that the Golden State Warriors just demonstrated, doesn’t mean that I’m cursed. It just means that I have other areas that God wants me to grow in.”
Do you ever get resentful about your struggles? We all get frustrated and impatient at times—or many times. It’s part of being human. But next time you’re faced with a hurdle that seems insurmountable, try to keep in perspective that we are all uniquely made by God with different struggles and hurdles to overcome, and we are all gifted a special set of abilities and blessings. Are you focusing too much on what you don’t have, rather than what amazing things you can do with the talents you’ve been given?
Catch the full podcast here.