The Struggle is Real

We’ve all said this phrase at some point. You overslept and rolled into work late. Your kids absolutely refused to let you get them presentable before going out in public. You don’t know how you’re going to pay your bills this month. Infertility. You are sorting through your divorce papers. The struggle is real, yall.

Sometimes when it gets real, you can become isolated. Maybe by choice, maybe not. But it can become a very lonely place. Even if you are around people, the feeling of being alone and carrying what feels like the weight of the world on your shoulders can be crushing. We tend to have this idealistic “white picket fence” plan for our lives, so it is disappointing – to say the least – when things begin to deviate and implode. Disappointments in our situations remind us of our human finiteness and of our lack of control – the very things we search for and cling to so dearly.

That is always at the root of my biggest disappointments. My lack of control over situations and people. It is such a let down because if all of the players would have just done as I had mapped out in my mind, all would be well and nothing would ever go wrong.

OK, I’m not that naïve, but doesn’t it feel that way?

We have gotten into the habit of thinking, it’s not supposed to be this way. But isn’t it kinda supposed to be this way? Jesus said in this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world (John 16:33). Solomon expounds on this in Ecclesiastes, reminding us that this life is fleeting and the things of this world are insignificant and will surely fade.

So it makes sense to view these trials as opportunities to draw nearer to God, rather than as obstacles to ruin our day. It’s reassuring to know that God won’t give us more than we can handle and to then realize that maybe we just aren’t using our faith to the fullest. Maybe we aren’t praying intentionally. Maybe we are engulfed in doubt that causes us not to trust Him.

I’ve come to recognize my need for control and that I just don’t have it. And that is ok, because I know who does have it. Still, it is sometimes necessary for us to go through these uncomfortable processes in order to understand this concept. This is what brings us to a deeper place in our relationship with God. The breaking of our spirit of control allows for a new setup and a greater identity and security in Christ. When we get to the point where we just throw our hands up in frustration and say “God, I can’t do this anymore!” He’s on the other side saying, “Finally! I never asked you to try and do it all yourself.”

God’s promise to us is simple: He will always be there no matter what the circumstances and situations. He longs for our surrender. This allows Him to truly work and use you to fulfill His purposes, giving you peace, comfort, and life that would not be possible without Him.

Verses for Today

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” James 1:2-8

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

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