An essential step in overcoming struggles
My wife and I looked up from the sun-baked mountain trail to see that we were only halfway to the top. The little hike wasn’t going to be as “little” as I thought. With no meetings to attend or kids to pick up from school, and needing a bit of a mental distraction, a long conversation beckoned. So I asked Beth, “What is the most difficult struggle in your life?”
The rest of the way, when we were not trying to catch our breath, we both identified our most difficult struggles. My nature is to try to fix things, so I forced myself to only listen and ask questions about the struggle she identified.
We both may have been able to guess what the other would say, but it was so healthy to verbalize these struggles to each other. Identifying the struggle is quite freeing. It frees us to analyze our life, admit our weaknesses, receive encouragement and strategize ways to wisely respond. And most importantly, when we have identified our struggles, we can hand them over to God. Sometimes this may feel more like pushing a pile of junk off the side of the cliff.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (I Peter 5:6-7).
The verse tells us that God will lift us up in due time. He may not respond according to our clock. But God’s capable, powerful hand will lift us up. He simply requires humility and patience.
As you read the miracles of Jesus, you’ll see humility arise time and time again. People like Jairus, whose daughter’s life slipped away, frantically ran to Jesus, begging for help. Mark 5 even tells how Jairus trusted Jesus, even when he’d been told that it was too late – his girl was dead.
Can you humble yourself, even when life feels more like death? Can you patiently wait, even when others tell you to give up?
“Jesus took her by the hand and said, ‘Little girl, I say to you, get up!'”
And she did. She was lifted up.
God doesn’t respond to every request the same way. Choosing to still believe has a name – “faith.”
You hold your struggles. Identify them. Loosen your grip. Hand them over.
God does care for you, regardless of your struggles. So choose to hold onto God instead of your struggles. Let the healing begin. Don’t give up.
My wife and I have a long way to go. But it was good to be reminded that mountains can be climbed.