I recently turned 24 and I’ve been feeling upset and down about a lot of things lately. And the easiest excuse to make is that God doesn’t love me.
But victimizing yourself against God is pointless because what you seek is His mercy and it is His mercy that will save you.
I began to reflect over the tide of events that happened to me and asked myself why I was feeling this way. So I was not getting what I want, what I prayed for. So? Maybe it’s not for me. Maybe it’s not here yet. Maybe I’ll get something else. I should wait. Why couldn’t I wait?
I was guided by a powerful verse in the Quran – Surah Ash-Sharh (The Relief) which goes “Verily with hardship comes ease.”
Verily with hardship comes ease
It’s a humbling line that shows you part of His mercy. All of us will be tested in this lifetime, the challenges varying. So we just need to stay patient and take it in our stride, no?
I was still not feeling better though.
A friend said to me over dinner “You’re really lucky, you know that. You should feel blessed” I was caught off guard. I felt like I was being told off, but I know exactly what this friend was trying to tell me.
Another powerful verse in the Quran found its way to my heart – Surah Ibrahim (Ibrahim) which goes “If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.” or in other words, If you are grateful, I will give you more.
If you are grateful, I will give you more
What my friend was trying to tell me was that no matter what you’re going through, whether it’s ease or hardship, exercise gratitude. It’s the only remedy that will rid you of your woes and make you feel better. As humans we are always so quick to think about what we haven’t been given or what we don’t have. But how about the things or blessings we’ve already been given? That itself needs to be thanked for.
Forming this realisation changed my life. Following this, each time I was on the verge of being upset over something (especially something I couldn’t control) I took a step back. I took a step back and told myself It may not be going as planned, but life is still good. Life is still meaningful. Be grateful. Exercising gratitude allows me to release that burden from my chest. It makes me feel so much lighter.
And that was all I needed. My idea of instant-gratification in the form of one thought. One thought in my head transformed the way I felt.