Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Hating the Struggle

Over much of this summer, I have found myself hating the struggle I am facing. I hate to admit it, but I have even been frustrated and angry with God over my circumstances. I have often shouted inwardly, "Okay, God, I've learned my lesson...You can lighten up now!"

Psalm 22:1-2 (ESV)
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
and by night, but I find no rest.

I'll catch myself in fantasies of what life would be like if things were totally different. Anyone else ever play that tortuous game of what it would be like to win the lottery? It gets so exciting thinking about paying off debt, getting new cars, owning our own home, saving up for retirement and kids' college all in one sitting. But when reality hits, it seems like eternity to wait the years it will take for those dreams to truly come about.

Then I hear a still, small voice asking a sobering question, "Where does giving take place in my fantasy? Where does blessing others play into it?"

It's then that I start to understand that God has me in this season of struggling for a reason much bigger than just learning a lesson. He is refining my character. He is conforming me to the image of Christ. I can use this season to either wallow in self-pity or be filled with the Spirit and gain humble and giving spirit. By being forced into frugal habits today, I can use that to bless more people tomorrow.

Psalm 22:3-5 (ESV)
Yet you are holy, 
enthroned on the praises of Israel.
In you our fathers trusted;
they trusted, and you delivered them.
To you they cried and were rescued;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.