"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."1
In 1832, French engineer Ferdinand Marie de Lesseps was traveling on the Mediterranean Sea. One of the passengers on the ship (he was on) came down with a contagious disease and the ship was quarantined. Lesseps became very frustrated. To help kill time he read the memoirs of Charles le Pere who had considered the feasibility of building a canal from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea.
In 1869 the Suez Canal was completed. It was constructed following the design by and under the leadership of de Lesseps which, thirty-seven years earlier during that quarantine, was germinated and conceived. The entire world has reaped the benefit ever since.
In my own life and work almost every major change for the good that I have made has been the result of a setback or crisis of some kind. Most of the things I write about have come out of my own struggles, setbacks, and failures and my subsequent search for answers to these issues. I turned to writing in the first place over four decades ago when I felt God had put me on the shelf and forgotten I existed. I never wanted to be a writer but God has used my writing to help many others.
Be assured that God wants to use your trials, failures, and setbacks, too, not only to help you grow, but also so you will be able to help others who are going through the same or similar trials that you have gone through.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please use the struggles in my life to help me become more Christ-like and compassionate so I can be a comfort to other fellow-strugglers. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."
1. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV).