I know of a certainty, by virtue of my love for Thee, that Thou wilt never cause tribulations to befall any soul unless Thou desirest to exalt his station in Thy earthly life with the bulwark of Thine all-compelling power, that it may not become inclined toward the vanities of this world. (The Bab, Baha’i Prayers, p. 193)
Most of my life I lived from the perspective of a victim. So many terrible things happened to me as a child. Many times I begged God to stop them and when they only got worse, I stopped believing in God. I think that’s a pretty common response to severe injustice. We can’t believe that a loving God would allow such awful things to happen in the world, so we conclude there must not be a God. We begin to doubt our humanity, our faith, everything we thought we knew about justice, about what’s right and wrong, and even our capacity to continue in the face of terrible events. Many of us can’t cope and some even commit suicide. My own life was a living death for many years.
I had so many misconceptions about the purpose of tests, and I believe others might have too. At first I thought that I was doing something wrong, and then graduated to the idea that I was undeserving or that God was mad at me (for something I did that was unforgivable), or that He wants me to suffer. I expected life to be fair and to be rewarded for attempting to be a “perfect” Bahá’í, and when I wasn’t, I fell into hopeless, helpless despair.
This quote cuts across all of the misconceptions we have about life – the only reason for our tests is so God can “exalt our stations” and protect us from being inclined towards the vanities of this world. That’s more in line with my idea of a loving God! Thank you God for explaining it in such simple language!
Knowing there is a purpose to my tribulations, I can relax and be grateful!
What jumped out for you as you read today’s meditation? I’d love it if you would share so we can all expand our knowledge of the Writings!
If you liked this meditation, you might also like my book Letting Go of Anger and Bitterness