There is a reason that throughout the course of our experiences as humans, we are put on both the giving and the needing ends of the spectrum of human interaction. Life functions as a give and a take, both in our actions with others and our interactions with the world. When we find ourselves needing more than being capable of giving, it makes sense to question what type of god would put us there. Wouldn’t a merciful God make it a little bit easier for us? The answer to this question lies not in the characterization of God, but in the definition of mercy. I think His mercy lies not in allowing us to breeze through, but in giving us the chance to be something more, feel something more, and do the same for others. The struggles we face are given to us for a specific reason—the troubles that look us in the eye are the ones that show us our weaknesses and give us the opportunity to strengthen them. It is almost like our troubles are custom tailored for our lives. Pray for patience and you will be put into situations that require you to be patient on your own accord. Pray for forgiveness and you will be put in situations where you must forgive others. The real reward in life is not avoiding struggle but overcoming it. It does not come in always getting what we ask for, but working towards what we want in situations that allow us to examine and change the ways in which we live.