I am reading Brian Jones’ great book "Second Guessing God – hanging on when you can’t see his plan". He talks a lot about pain and struggle – and what those things really do in and through us.
But as I digest it, I am reminded of some struggles which always seem to be in my life…
- Vision – God’s vision for my life is always too big, too scary, and frankly – too unimaginable for me to feel comfortable with (and that’s good – small vision is worthless). I always have to struggle with seeing my life, my family, my ministry, my shortcomings through eyes of faith – because otherwise it’s just too big!
- Resources – Big vision takes big resources! Money, time, energy – I am convinced that I will always be relying on God to supply those things. The struggle in prayer and faith is the fight that is required… at the cost of some sleepless nights, energy, and useless anxiety! I haven’t cracked the code on this yet…
- Doubt – I envy people who say they never doubt (of course, I also suspect them!). I am comforted, though, that even some of the twelve who walked with Jesus and saw him raise the dead doubted as well (Matt 28:17). My doubt keeps me humble, keeps me honest, and helps me remember that I don’t have to have this whole thing figured out. My struggle against doubt keeps me engaged, in community, and seeking!
- Fear – I have the scripture "Fear Not" tattooed on my body. A medallion with Isaiah 43:5 hangs around my neck 24/7… could you guess that left unchecked, I am inclined to worry? When I struggle against fear or worry, it forces me to daily quiet my inner man, hand over to God all those things in my life that are really His, but that I like to pretend are mine, and live one day at at time.
Struggle is good… I often think I want a life devoid of struggle, but if I look back on my 33 years on this planet, it is only the periods of struggle that really mean a lot.