The Most Important Gifts Include a Measure of Pain

Our blessings (divine gifts) arrive in many forms. Sometimes they come with a healthy dose of pain included. In fact, I would argue that our most precious gifts are those which challenge us – to learn, grow, or otherwise improve the human condition. Those challenges always involve some measure of discomfort. Occasionally, that discomfort is horrendous, but necessary.

Our Civil War was one such opportunity to grow. It was the bloodiest conflict that America has ever fought. And yet it ended the scourge of slavery in the United States. It was painful and traumatic beyond description. Its scars took decades to heal. Yet it made America a more just society. Was it worth the suffering? I’ve never heard anyone argue that it wasn’t.

We’ve received a great number of unwanted blessings in the last 14 years that have provided us the opportunity to grow and advance American exceptionalism – or not. Those lessons have been provided by our maker or just historical circumstances – depending on your personal beliefs. Whether we choose to act upon our opportunities, or sleep our way into socialism, remains to be seen.

We have learned that our political leadership will casually violate the constitution that they swore to defend.

They have violated our property rights with forced closures and eviction moratoriums.

They have cancelled our right to assemble for worship or political purposes – though they have made exceptions for the rioters representing their political allies.

Our leadership has worked tirelessly to suppress our freedom of speech. They have shut down accurate information, that was deemed misinformation, because the truth was politically inconvenient. They even attempted to create a government agency to control our speech.

Our leadership took away our freedom of movement – something never before done without due process in America. In California, swimming in the ocean was restricted during the pandemic. Apparently fresh air, clean water, and vigorous exercise were considered the playground of the virus. In Michigan travel to vacation homes and even the use of motor boats was prohibited – though non-motorized boats were not considered vulnerable to viral transmission. In Hawaii, visitors were locked in their hotel rooms and were subject to arrest and prosecution if they attempted to partake of public spaces.

COVID also gave us the blessing of remote learning. Had it not been for children attending class in the presence of their parents, we may have never learned about the evil being perpetrated on them. The virus caused their education to be stunted, but it also exposed teachers that were instilling gender confusion, self-loathing, and racial hatred.

Now we know that law enforcement officials have their own biases, and if not held accountable to their oaths, will substitute their personal agendas for the welfare of the people they are sworn to protect. They’ll do it to the point that “justice” becomes little more than a punchline to a joke. We’ve seen minor offenders treated as enemies of the republic if they happen to be wearing a red hat. We’ve seen vandals and murderers treated as heroes of democracy if they happen to be wearing a BLM or Antifa tee-shirts. Even law-abiding citizens are now being tracked as national threats, for the temerity of protesting school boards or questioning government corruption.

We’ve learned what “not letting a crisis go to waste” means in practice. It means using a virus as a predicate to undermine an election – our most sacred function as self-governed people. The 2020 election was undermined with illegal procedural changes, illegal ballot harvesting, and false messaging. And no, that’s not a “big lie.” It’s a proven fact. We’ll never know if Donald Trump actually won the election. But audits, investigations, and court rulings have confirmed that enough illegal ballots were cast that we don’t know who the actual winner was.

We have learned that government bureaucrats don’t consider themselves our servants, but rather our overlords – entitled to control every aspect of our lives. They will happily tell us:

  • What medicines to take and not take.
  • What non-profit organization we can support.
  • What food to eat.
  • What car to drive.
  • What insurance to buy.
  • What narrative to believe.

We’ve even learned that those functionaries will happily sacrifice our lives to further their political purposes. How many lives were lost because therapeutics endorsed by Donald Trump could not be allowed to succeed by the bureaucracy? They used the full power of the federal government to prevent the use of anything that worked – especially if the Donald said it worked. They had no underlying scientific rationale whatsoever – beyond the amassing of power, promoting a political side, and personal enrichment.

Perhaps the greatest blessing of recent years has been the knowledge provided – though it came at great expense. COVID alone exposed a great illness – not the disease the virus caused in our individual bodies, but the illness that was already present in our body politic.

By now we should have learned that government is not to be trusted – not any branch, and not at any level (local, state, or federal).

I am no anarchist, and I recognize that government is necessary to maintain social order – especially in a free society. But the lesson of the 21st century should be: To remain a free people, we need to be frugal in granting power to government, and merciless in holding it accountable for what it does with that power.

Author Bio: John Green is a political refugee from Minnesota, now residing in Idaho. He has written for American ThinkerAmerican Free News Network, and The Blue State Conservative. He can be followed on Facebook or reached at

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