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She had just finished telling me how important antibacterial soap and lotion are and that she used hand sanitizer all the time.  She avoided touching handles in public and things that might be touched by a lot of other folks.  Then, before she left, she told me that she gets sick all the time.  She’s someone I’d label a bit of a germaphobic, in the kindest way of course.

Hold up, though, something isn’t adding up here.   She uses those preventative products religiously and gets sick more than people like me that don’t use that stuff very often.

On the grand continuum of using those anti-germ products, I stand closer to the “don’t care so much” end.  Don’t judge!  I’m a clean person, just not overly concerned.  I don’t eat off the floor, but I don’t bleach everything and use hand sanitizer all the time.  It’s just not me.  I also have pretty tough antibodies and don’t get sick very often.

I’m not saying I’m better, but I am saying that getting sick once in a while can actually make us stronger and more able to fight off the next wave of illness.   Now, don’t come over and sneeze on me just to teach me a lesson.

We humans also tend to be a bit trialaphobic: trying to avoid trials, challenges and suffering at all costs.  Is it that deep down inside we think that will help us avoid them even more in the future?   Or that life will be easier, more comfortable?

Facing trials and pushing through them, with God’s help, is one way we become stronger and more prepared/able to face the next one to come along.  We shouldn’t run from them or avoid them like the plague.  (ugh, bad play on words)

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.  And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.  Romans 5:3-5

My friends, be glad, even if you have a lot of trouble. You know that you learn to endure by having your faith tested.But you must learn to endure everything, so that you will be completely mature and not lacking in anything.  James 1:2-4 CEV