make forceful or violent efforts to get free of restraint or constriction.
I’m just like any other person that has walked this earth; I don’t want to struggle.
That’s pretty normal. I mean, who really does want to struggle? We all have similar goals in mind: to provide, support, and live a full life without worry about where our next paycheck is coming from.
I really struggle with… struggling. *SIGH*
Between my husband and myself, I am the one that really worries about the idea of struggling. Why? Because I am the one who sees the money coming in and out, I am the one who budgets and pays bills. He is the muscle, I am the brains. If something doesn’t add up it falls on my shoulders.
Struggling does not apply to just our finances; it could technically be in any area of our lives! Struggling may involve depression or money in one person’s home while it may involve anger or sexual immorality in another’s home. Struggling looks different from home to home but there is one thing that will never change: no one wants to struggle. That’s just fact.
Why do we not want to struggle?
Maybe because it’s uncomfortable; sometimes unbearable. Struggling can be painful literally, figuratively, emotionally, and physically. It’s considered a sign of weakness. To struggle means that we don’t have everything figured out like we wish we did. Maybe we do not like to struggle because it can cause us more work or maybe it’s because it keeps us from our daily work.
Whatever it is, struggling never fails to add a curveball to our picture-perfect life.
But here’s the kicker, what if we viewed struggling as a beautiful thing?
Seriously! What if, instead of focusing on the things that go wrong during our times of struggle, we focused on everything we are gaining!
For example, there can be so much struggle when it comes to bringing a child into this world. Mothers endure endless nauseated months, painful tears in our skin, back/join/hip pain, heart burn, and a sometimes extremely complicated birth! I would say the majority of the labors in this world are a struggle for many women; thank God for current medical technology.
And all this for what? “A permanent reminder of the pain you endured for months?”
NO! That is not how we view the birth of our children. We call our labors beautiful despite the hardship and the pain we endured. Once that baby(s) is in our arms, it’s nearly impossible to focus on the pain we endured literally 10 minutes before.
Another example: There has been times where I really struggle with this blog. I have spent countless, countless hours writing and tweaking this blog into what I desire it to be. Sometimes I struggle with a lack of creative juices, wondering if there is anything else I could possibly write about. Sometimes I receive hate-filled comments and horrible spam mail which is discouraging to say the least. I mean, I really truly struggle sometimes to keep this blog running.
And yet, God is so good with His timing. Just when I feel like I can’t go on my inbox surprises me with a beautiful letter from a follower. Or, there has been times where I am surprised with jaw-dropping opportunities and mentions.
I know this blog is what God has called me to do! But, if I focus on the struggles in a negative way, where would my passion/hope/encouragement be?
I view struggling as a stepping ladder to something great. Every step that we climb is one step closer to our goal, despite the struggles we hit along the way.
Or better yet, struggling is much like hiking a large mountain. We hike with the hot sun beating against our backs, the cold rain pelting our heads, the bugs that nip at our skin, and fallen timber in our paths. But once you reach the top and gaze at the beautiful sunset you’ll realize that the long, excruciating hike up a mountain was 100% worth every struggle along the way.
Without struggle we cannot learn or grow. If there is no struggle in our finances, how will we learn to be wise stewards with our money? If there is no struggle, we will begin to take the beautiful things of this world for granted.
Even more than that, if we do not struggle then when will we need God? Have you ever noticed your prayer life dwindling when your family life seems to be going perfectly? I know I am extremely guilty of this! I tend to pray continuously when I desperately need something from God versus when my life is perfect and can’t imagine needing anything else. When we struggle we lean towards God for guidance and strength; that kind of connection is deep. It’s just like how we don’t appreciate our parents until we realize how much we need(ed) them.
There is so much merit and beauty in learning how to struggle graciously. We do not have to like struggling, we do not have to want to struggle, in fact struggling can still be very uncomfortable! But, we should be viewing struggling as a stepping stone to something greater (whether it be a lesson learned or an opportunity gained).
Every time we struggle and persevere we are learning a valuable lesson. To struggle is to work hard for something that you desperately want. To preserver with that struggle means that you not only overcame a huge obstacle with God but you also reached your prized destination of choice.
To struggle means to live with a purpose and a goal in mind.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10