Self-Growth

Can you Keep Fighting??

There are definitely going to be times when life is going to smack us around and really really suck- a lot. I mean let’s just call a spade a spade. And I don’t mean the days where your alarm clock doesn’t go off and your super late to a meeting that is crucial to your job. I am not talking about those days when you leave the clothes to long mildewing in the washing machine and you don’t realize it until you are desperately looking for something that happens to be in that funky load. OR even the day you realize a bill is late…like super late. No, I’m talking about those days (well they are usually whole seasons in my experience) that you honestly feel like you just can’t breathe anymore. Days you have no idea what you are going to do and for the life of you, you can’t picture what is going to happen in the future (or even tomorrow). Those types of situations where you can’t even bring yourself to cry anymore because you are literally out of tears. Often, those moments make us evaluate and regret a lot of the choices we have made up until that moment. Often, we are so broken from what has happened (or the fear of what we believe could happen next) that it numbs us to our cores. We cry out to God for one of those supernatural miracles to suddenly rip us from that place in our lives. We are lost, hurt, afraid, angry, confused, or just frozen in what seems to be an utterly helpless place. I am talking about the situations that will arise in our lives that truly make us wonder what is God doing?

I wish I could be a super Christian and tell you how great those seasons are for your overall spiritual growth and the kingdom of God. I wish I could spit out some amazing scripture at you that backs all of that up (because there are tons of them to be honest) and encourage you to focus on that instead. But…. I am not a super anything. All I want you to know is that I get it. I totally and completely get being in a space where you feel as if you have absolutely nothing left to give. You are hopeless and the idea of happiness, at this point, almost makes you angry because it seems just so far away.

I get those painful seasons of chaos in your marriage (or what’s left of it), the fear of a loved one’s failing health, financial ruin, or just feeling hopeless about life in general. I know what it’s like to wake up morning after morning, head throbbing, and pillow case soaking wet (again) from you crying all night. I have been in that place where it feels like those you love the most want only to rip your heart out.  I know what it’s like to believe God isn’t hearing your cries and that something has to give- even if that something is you taking your own life. And though I haven’t experienced it, I can only imagine when those aching moments are a result from losing a child or spouse. These are the moments in our lives that make being late, finding your dirty blouse, or having your internet suspended seem so incredibly trivial.

But do you know who Jesus is? I don’t mean that in a funny or sarcastic way either. I mean have you ever stopped to really consider the life and ministry of Jesus? This was a man destined to die in the most fatal of ways for people who drove him to be killed in the first place. Sometimes I sit and really live in those pages as I read about the life (and of course death) of Christ. Did he ever think about that when he was being bombarded by his hater’s foolishness? I so would. I would get so sick and tired of trying to bring hope to people who (let’s be honest) didn’t deserve a thing. I would get so angry, feel so hopeless, knowing that all of my hard work and struggles would eventually end in me being beaten and nailed down to some nasty wood. Then I think why? Why in the world would God even want His son to endure all of that? Why not just send Jesus down, let him do a little preaching here and there, and then swoop Him back up into Heaven? No harm no foul? Because God realizes way better than we do that getting through pain, struggles, and heartache usually has nothing to do with us but serves as a guide for strength, hope, and maybe even eternity for those around us.

Man. That is a hard pill to swallow- that God would allow us to go through some crucial seasons in our lives to help someone else (Who we may or may not even know) and He started the whole concept by taking the first leap and sacrificing His only son. Jesus recognizes that His life, his death, and (thank you Jesus) His resurrection would serve as the ultimate guide of hope to bajillions of people today, tomorrow, and for eternity. Jesus Christ understood that, though his circumstances would leave the average person feeling like it was all over, he had to endure. He had to be tested. Jesus knew that we could be fearless in His peace because he already overcame the world (John 16:33). He had to go through pain, trials, and obstacles that tried to rip Him apart simply because He knew you and I were on the other side of it. Jesus had to suffer so that we could have a fighting chance.

Can you think of anyone in your life right now, be it a family member, friend, church member, or whomever, whose life could possibly be forever changed by your patient endurance during a season that has all of the key ingredients to tear you from limb to limb if you let it? Can you picture any person that might be blessed by knowing that if God could bring you through it then maybe just maybe He’ll do that for them as well? What if that person was your child? What if somewhere in the future they are tested beyond measure and the smallest bit of hope, that God used you to plant, is what changes the tide from them succumbing to them thriving? What if, from that, their children witness that, and you have now left a legacy of strength and faith through children you may never meet? What if you getting out a bed just one more time could save a coworker’s life that you didn’t know was struggling, too? Would you be able to hold on through that heart-wrenching place just a moment longer if someone that you really don’t know that well accepted Christ (which in turn means eternity) simply because you held on a little longer? Are you willing to keep fighting the good fight, bloody and wounded, with the Lord of Lord’s on your side, for the person who is on the other side of your fight?

Friend, life is going to slap you. I can almost promise it. But know that if you would trust that God is using it to not just refine you, your heart, your strength, and even your faith but that He seeks to use your pain to draw all closer to Him. That may not seem like a lot to hold on to right now as you’re hurting, but thank the Father that at some point or another someone in your life fought a fight, bloody and wounded too, because you were once on the other side of it.

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