The struggle is real

Do you struggle with anything in your life? What a silly question, right?!  Most, if not all of us struggle with something.  Or many things.  Your struggle(s) may be different from mine and mine are not necessarily the same as the next person’s but the battles exist nevertheless.

Diet.  Exercise.  Finances.  Marital issues.  Sibling discord.  Illness.  Wayward children.  Fear.  Guilt.  Loss.  Addiction.  And many, many others….some quite deep, extremely painful and unbearably real to millions of souls.

As I ponder over my own struggles, I am reminded of Paul’s second letter to Timothy, which is believed to be the great apostle’s last penned notes to his pastor friend and mentee.  Among several other straightforward exhortations to Timothy, Paul declares in Chapter 3, verse 12 that as Christians, we will suffer persecution (italics mine).  The NIV version reads, “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”

Obviously persecution as most of us know it today doesn’t include being stoned or beheaded or some other violent act.  Praise God that we can proclaim our beliefs openly and freely without the fear of losing our lives.  Although unfortunately, some of that does still exist, our persecution is typically of a different sort.  It can often be found in our weak spots.  You know – that thing that has haunted us for years. The habit that we just can’t shake.  Or maybe, it is something that comes out of the blue.  A new struggle. When all is going well with the world……

What struggle are you facing today?  Whatever it is, I pray that you will allow God to meet you where you are – right there in your pain – and not only get you through it – but use you to come alongside others in their own struggles.

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Time Flies!

Time flies when we are having fun.  And even when we aren’t.  Like the blink of an eye or the blowing of the wind, we can look up and suddenly 30 minutes – or 30 years – has passed.  Just like that.

It has been 17 days since I last blogged.  Over two weeks since I sat down and purposely took the time to turn my thoughts into writing, share my heart, and express my feelings to you – my readers.  In many ways, two weeks is a short time-span.  After all, God’s timetable is not mine.  To Him, a thousand years is to a day or vice versa, right?  Just as His will is perfect, so is His timing.  And everything else about Him.

As my mind turns back in time to recall the events of the past two weeks, I am forced to ask myself, “What have I been doing?”  More importantly, “Whatever I did, whatever I invested my time in, did I make a difference; did I touch someone’s life in a positive way – or was I just busy?”

Busyness is one of the devil’s sneakiest ways to get us off track.  If he can keep us busy, caught up in the never-ending circle of chores and errands and work and….even service to the Lord, he’s got us right where he wants us.  Distracted.  Stressed.  Overworked.  Exhausted.  BUSY.  Too busy to notice that we’ve not done what the Lord has called us to do – or perhaps not done it in the proper spirit, according to His intent and purpose.

As I was reading my devotion earlier this morning, I found myself almost speed-reading, as if my time with the Lord was just something else to get done so I could move on to the next thing.  Then suddenly, the Holy Spirit ever so gently guided me to a very familiar verse:  Psalm 46:10 which reads, “Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”  (KJV)  In that moment, with tears slowing making their way down my cheeks, I was reminded that He is faithful.  He sees my heart.  He knows my struggles.  And if I will only be still – still in His presence, the only time that truly matters is His time.  Two weeks – or two days, He never ever lets me go. And He will finish the good work that He has started in me.

Are you busy?  Does time fly for you like it does for me, and for most of us?  Be still in His presence today.  Be restored to the joy of your salvation.  It’s the best time you will spend today – or any day.