Struggle is Good!

Blog – 11-27-19

Tired. Burnt out. Overwhelmed. Broken hearted. This may be how you arrive at your Thanksgiving gathering tomorrow, the day of the year when we are supposed to be oozing with thanks and gratitude. 

How do we truthfully do that in the midst of the hard? How can we possibly thank God “in all circumstances?” It sometimes feels so out of reach and unachievable.

We can learn a valuable lesson from something I love, the butterfly. The struggle and fight that the butterfly goes through to break free from its chrysalis is actually what gives the butterfly the ability to fly. The struggle pushes the fluid out of the butterfly’s body and into its wings. If you helped this fragile little creature tear free and break out of its cocoon, its wings would not be strong enough to help it soar up to the heavens. It would live its life on the ground.

The butterfly knows that the struggle is good if you want to fly.

I believe the same is true for you and me, the struggle is what strengthens our proverbial wings. The struggle is what takes us deeper and deeper into the arms of our loving Father. The struggle is where life transformation happens so we can fly. 

God has been doing a major renovation in my heart on this area of my faith this year. He is revealing to me over and over again that seasons of waiting, those periods of time when I feel stuck and mired down in the “not yet,” those seasons when I’m worn out from the battle are actually seasons ripe with growth. He has been challenging me to be grateful for them because those are the times when my faith roots get deeper and deeper as I lean more and more into Him.

Some of you reading this may be going through what feels like the fight of your life right now, trying to break free from the chains of your past…or your present. It might feel impossible to find anything to be grateful for.

What if you could somehow change your mind and choose to be grateful for this season?

The Apostle Paul spoke to this in his letter to the church in Corinth:

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal 
glory that far outweighs them all.
2 Corinthians 4:17 (NIV)

David also wrote about suffering in the Psalms:

My comfort in my suffering is this:
Your promise preserves my life.
Psalm 119:50 (NIV)

God is your comfort as well, my friend. God is there in the midst of the hard, and He will preserve your life.

You may have to say it though gritted teeth, but I challenge you to go before God and thank him for your situation, trusting that He will somehow work it out for your good. It may sound crazy, it may feel insincere, but I believe God would absolutely delight in your effort if you simply said, “God, I don’t like this one bit, but I trust that you are at work in my life. Teach me.”

We don’t always get to choose our circumstances, but we absolutely have a choice about how we respond to them.  I encourage you to enter your Thanksgiving celebration tomorrow with a heart that is choosing to be grateful, even for the struggles.

Remember, the struggle is good if you want to fly!

Love and hugs,

Jill

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