1.02.2012

Sand and Struggles

Several years ago, life took a toll on me. I had five kids under the age of ten, had moved to a new house and had a husband who was working long, long hours. My husband had so much stress from work that I tried to be his helper and take care of everything so he wouldn’t have to. Insurance, car repairs, home schooling. You name it, I did it. Then throw in health issues for me and what happened? I grew exhausted.

I felt like I was trying to climb a mountain made of sand. Three steps forward, one slide back. The wind whipping around, stinging my face. Legs crying out for relief. But I had to keep going.

At times like that, the inclination is to feel so alone. Isolated. I did.

We tend to focus on ourselves and forget God's eternal perspective. But if we stop and take a look around, we can see other footprints. Footprints of those who have climbed the same hill. We can be honest and humble about our struggles and ask for help—help from others who have made the same journey. We can learn from their mistakes. They can step into our lives and encourage us that we will make it to the top and that the reward is worth it.

But, ultimately, we need to seek help from the One who promises not to forsake us. It may feel like God abandons us in the hardest times of our lives, but sometimes that’s because we don’t understand what that promise means. I certainly know I’ve been guilty of feeling forsaken when times are hard. But that’s a shallow, self-centered view of God—what can He do for me?

I’m learning that the difficulties and struggles are the times when I can grow the most in my faith and see God’s hand at work more clearly. Unfortunately, I want comfort and ease. But nowhere in the bible does God promise a pain free life. He tells us that we will have trials and tribulations. Can we trust him to walk with us in those times? Yes. But that’s not natural. We need to ask for faith to believe. And we can learn so much about listening to him and looking for how he’s working in and around us.

And once he helps us conquer the obstacles and struggles, there is often a great reward he has waiting for us. New friendships, more faith, a deeper walk with him. The ability to seek out and comfort others who come behind us. That’s what living in fellowship with each other is all about.  
 
So where are you in your journey? Ask God to send you help and ask him to show you how to live strong through the trials. And when he gets you through them, you can celebrate how God has worked.






3 comments:

  1. I loved your one line about not understanding the promise--though for some reason my brain superimposed the word LIVE that promise, but it hit me between the eyes. We don't! Great post--I'm so glad you shared it, thanks Mary. :)

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  2. The truth that stands out for me is one the Lord has been whispering to my heart through my current struggles. I am with you. Especially through the hard things, those words give such hope. The promise is alive and well.
    What beautiful pictures of His faithfulness and ever-presentness you have painted.
    Thank you for this loving encouragement for all of us who have struggles.

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  3. Thank you for your kind comments Casey and Pennylynn. God has been working in my life through suffering and I hope to be an encouragement to others who are also suffering.

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