Hardships befall every human being and this is the reality we cannot avoid. These hardships range from challenges in finances, health, grief, relationships, and natural disasters. The recent events that unfolded in the past weeks throughout the world are clear evidence that there is no life without hardships.

Three sad stories were captured by the international media this summer: 21 teenagers died in unclear circumstances in South Africa after a night out at a township tavern, and this was after they had finished their high school examination. Second, 23 people died at the Moroccan border attempting to
illegally cross to the Spanish enclave of Melilla. Third, 51 people were found dead in an
abandoned truck in San Antonio while trying to cross illegally into America.

These are just three stories out of thousands of horrific events that take place every day. We face hardships on a daily basis ranging from the family unit to international level.

How do we find strength in such circumstances?

The Psalmist says "cast your burden on the Lord and he will sustain you..."

The challenges that we face as human beings are the practicalities of casting that burden to the Lord. Many people will profess that they agree with the text but their question remains on how that is done.

First, be positive about what good the Lord is doing to the world. More often our memory is full of negative memories of things that we hate in the past and these are the things that occupy our contemplation, imagination, and reflections about the world. In the cloud of hardships there are more good things that are happening every day. It is in celebrating those good things that our memories find healing. My wife and I, when reflecting on our married life, tend to reflect more on those precious moments in life from dating till now.

Such memories make us look at our marriage from a very positive perspective and this does not mean that there are no moments of hardships in our marriage. Being optimistic about life makes us see things mainly from a positive perspective and those who are always pessimistic about life always perceive a dark world. Second, identify the sources of those hardships. It is important to ponder on the sources of those hardships because sometimes the solution to those hardships lies in us. It is easy to always see hardships as coming from external forces but sometimes they are within us and the onus is on us to

They are things that we cannot change and such things we should leave to God. We cannot stop a volcano from erupting but we can only move away from it and come back later. Third, we should ask the right questions instead of the wrong ones. I cannot ask the question, "why" at the death of my 95 year old mother. This is a wrong question because God tells us that we will not live in this world forever. Even non-religious people know that nature tells us that nothing will live forever. Therefore, asking the question "why" would not bring strength to us during the time of grieving our deceased old aged relative.

Yes there is no problem with asking the question "how" because that helps us to understand the cause of the death. Finally, spend time with God in prayer. Prayer is our channel of communication with our creator and it helps us to find strength in the cloud of hardships. We cannot have solutions or answers to all the issues around us but through prayer we get special revelation from God who is all knowing. God is our source of strength and comfort.