July 12, 2012

Chaplain’s Corner: “Hard Times”

Lt. Greg Woodard
Station Chaplain

In the Christian scriptures, the psalmist writes that the right living person is “like a tree planted by streams of water that yields fruit in season, whose leaf does not wither, who consistently prospers.” But a few psalms later we read: “My bones are in agony. My soul is in anguish. How long, O Lord, how long? …I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears.”

Throughout history, there have been many individuals who have suffered what has been termed a “Dark night of the soul.” The human experience is full of hardships: sickness and accidents; disappointments, strained and broken relationships. Difficulties in life will come and we must not allow them to keep us down.

A clear understanding of the value of these hardships will make it possible to have a positive attitude in the face of struggle. Here are some points for you to consider as you face the troubles that you are either dealing with now or are sure to face in the future: 1) Adversity can both mature us and can bring out the best in us; 2) Suffering and distress can produce perseverance and endurance.

Perseverance is not a passive acceptance of circumstances. Perseverance instead refers to the ability to display steadfastness and constancy in the face of the most formidable difficulty. It is a courageous resolve in the face of suffering. It is continuing on even when times are tough, no matter the circumstances. Hard times can have a purifying quality; they are the arena in which, and the process through which, a trial transforms into a blessing.

Too often, we want to get our difficulties over with quickly. There are times when the best course is to bear up patiently instead of grumbling and complaining. We need to endure, and to continue doing well, understanding that perhaps the trial is meant to refine something in our life.

Marines understand the value of resistance training and they know that the slogan, “Pain is weakness leaving the body.” And they know that to keep their edge, they must patiently endure the pain of increased resistance. Though often not enjoyable in the moment, resistance training pays dividends in the long run.

Letting a trial do its perfect work is not easy. If we wish to run the race of life well we need to develop patience. That patience, in turn, will come only through a form of “resistance training,” that consists of doing well in enduring the misfortunes of life.

Our goal should be to turn trials into triumph. Remember that patient endurance of adversity can accomplish much good and spirituality can be a powerful tool in developing the wisdom to help us gain a proper perspective toward our hardships.

All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.



Don’t let outside opinions determine your situation

If you have ever told someone you are stationed in Yuma, the common response might have been, “Oh wow, that stinks.” Or something along those lines. Most Marines would probably agree, but let me provide some food for thought. As a daughter of a former master sergeant and air-winger, my dad always told me, “Every...

Chaplain’s Corner: Mystery & Confusion

I recently visited the Grand Canyon’s North Rim, and I saw mystery as I looked over the rim down into the immense, eroded and multicolored scenery before me. I am fond of the writings of John Muir, and when he described such places as the Grand Canyon he wrote that it is emotionally healthy to...


Author’s note: The opinion written down here is expressly that of Lance Cpl. Sean Dennison and does not reflect the views of The Desert Warrior or the Marine Corps as a whole. In fact, Cpl. Jolene Bopp, a fellow staff writer, of the Desert Warrior and a Marine at that, positively adores Chipotle.   I...

Courtesy photo

Entertainment Review July 26, 2012

The Rantouls are a saccharine trio from San Jose, Calif., and make way better music than your favorite 60s pop group ever did. The band first surfaced through San Francisco’s Chocolate Covered records after releasing som...

Good bye everybody, I’ve got to go

Every enlistment must come to an end at some point or another, the question is, when is the right time? I thought I had everything planned out, then I received an email about the Voluntary Enlisted Early Release Program and I feel as though I’ve been thrown a curve ball. The VEERP provides Marines within...

5 Questions: Col. Michael Gough

1. What is the mission of MAG-13 and how does it support the MAGTF? MAG-13’s mission is to provide fixed-wing tactical aviation support to Marine Air Ground Task Force operations form a variety of main bases, forward ope...


Be the first to comment!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>