American swimmer Dara Torres had a remarkable career. She appeared in five different Olympics from 1984 to 2008.
Late in her career, Torres broke the US record for the 50-meter freestyle – 25 years after she herself set that record, but it wasn’t always the medals and records.
She also encountered a lot of obstacles in her athletic career. Failure after another, mistakes after mistakes, injuries, surgery, and being almost twice the age of most other competitors.
She said, “I’ve wanted to win at everything, every day, since I was a kid.., I’m also aware that setbacks have upside; they fuel new dreams.”
“Setbacks have an upside” is a great life lesson. Her struggles motivated her to reach for new heights.
Romans 5:3-5 states that “… we also rejoice in sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance produces character, and character produces hope. And hope does not disappoint us…” The Apostle James also told us “consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds, because you know that testing of your faith develops perseverance. Allow perseverance to finish its work…”
Adopting this perseverance on the difficulties of life is not easy, but worthwhile. Trials provide opportunity to deepen our relationship with God. They also teach lessons that success cannot by developing the kind of patience that waits on God and trust Him for the strength to endure.
I remember an excerpt from one of my prayers when I was in one of the darkest days of my life way back then,
“Lord, I hope my prayers will be answered tomorrow, else I could die, but if it remains a ‘no’ until tomorrow and I am still alive, teach me to be more patient and help me to understand more Your reasons, though the same reasons I may not know until tomorrow or the next month or the next decade. All I know is that what is happening at this very moment is for my own sake and my family’s welfare, so that I can share this experience to anyone in the future, so that Your light will shine to others through me, even at darkness”.