Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
James 1:12 (NIV)
How often have we found ourselves in a position where we just wanted to give up? Things are not turning out as we planned. We lost something of value. How could anyone expect us to keep going? How can we?
No matter how hard it gets, we need to just dig in and wait for the storm to pass. What if it doesn’t though? We try…and fail, try…and fail. Then we finally pray! What does God want us to do?
He wants us to honor Him right in the middle of our pain. He looks at our attitude and efforts…not our performance. He IS the God of the impossible, but maybe He wants to show us a different way…a better way.
He wants us to STAY IN THE GAME! If we’ve lost something, or SOMEONE of value the game may look different. If we lean into God for direction, that “different” will eventually become “better”.
How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Psalm 13:1-2 (NIV)
That was how King David cried out to the Lord. Haven’t we all felt that way? I know. I know! Our timing is not God’s timing. We are so impatient! Remember that God sees the big picture though. Perhaps He knows what we’re longing for would ultimately harm us. Then again…perhaps He has a better way in mind.
Remember, it’s not all about us. How can our struggle or problem help someone else? Maybe we can inspire others. We can certainly smile, be positive and inquire about others’ lives. I’ve learned the hard way that complaining about troubles only makes others want to avoid me. If they can’t fix it for me, it only serves to make them feel powerless. Nobody wants to feel powerless, so I’ve learned to stop complaining.
Better yet, complain to God! He knows our struggles better than anybody. He’ll be more patient with us than even a mom or dad. Unlike our family or friends, He is NOT powerless. He has a way of placing others in our life that can truly help us. God also has the power to change our outlook or impression of our woes!
Now that we’ve turned it over to God, we can get back in the game of life! Keep showing up! God can’t help us if we’re cutting ourselves off from the world. We can’t let our troubles take our purpose and passion away.
Our ultimate purpose is to honor God by serving others. How we serve others may look different from what we expected. It could be easy & natural OR it could feel awkward. Just make it a natural part of the day. We help by noticing others, by speaking kind words, by encouraging!
Are we really helping though? Did we pray first? I find I make smarter decisions when I seek His direction on how to help. It takes but a moment, but can leave us with a feeling of peace about what He wants us to do…and sometimes NOT do.
My good balance was taken by a traumatic brain injury. What could I possibly do to help others? I was the one always needing the help! God used my constant striving to ‘fix’ my balance, along with my life-long passion for fitness, to prompt me to begin my business, SilverStrength®… helping seniors to get stronger and be more mobile. I’m the perfect instructor to show them how to keep their bodies moving correctly so that they can avoid the balance problems that come with age .
No…that is not how I envisioned myself reaching out to help others. My method of assistance for others is a direct result of what I’ve struggled with for years. Can you turn your struggles into a way to help or inspire others?
I believe God is looking for us to turn our lemons into lemonade. First, we need to get our mind off our problem and imagine how we can encourage others by what we are grappling with. Ask the Lord for direction. Sometimes it shows up in very unexpected places.
Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)
When God is behind our efforts, we’ll find ourselves doing things almost effortlessly. After we’ve prayed about it…give it to God! He’s the expert in turning our pain, our frustration, our sadness into a triumph that will help others as well as us.
Regardless of our problem, we need to stay in the game to be of any help to God or others. In the previous blog, Make a Career of It https://mvarga.com/spiritual-insights/make-a-career-of-it/ I used the scripture below.
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
Matthew 25:21 (NIV)
Do we want God to say, “Well done!” to us? Then stay in the game! We just keep doing the next right thing knowing that He is pleased with our efforts.
Sometimes we don’t know if what we’re doing helps anyone. Remind us always to take it to You first. You see our motives and we trust You to show us the way.
Our lives can be difficult but we know they are also blessed! Help us to keep showing up even when life gets hard. We know that You will always bless our efforts. We know that You want us to STAY IN THE GAME!
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