A devotional by Glynis Becker
“Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” ~ Isaiah 41:10 (NASB)
A few years ago a phrase became popular as a sort of punchline to funny pictures or ridiculous, first-world problems: “The struggle is real.” You can laugh when it’s attached to a picture of a puppy that can’t quite make it up the stairs or a toddler in a high chair asleep with food on his face.
But the truth is, sometimes the struggles are very real and sometimes they are not at all funny. At different points in our lives, each of us must deal with things we’d rather not. Some are a result of choices we’ve made. Sometimes they are simply circumstances of life in this world.
No one I know has ever asked for more struggles. I know I certainly never have. I think human nature is to make our lives as comfortable as possible. Just like water and electricity find the path of least resistance when flowing from point A to point B, we humans aren’t much different.
People try all sorts of things to make their lives easier. Some manipulate others into doing their work for them. Some use alcohol or drugs to make their lives feel smoother, even if that really creates more problems in the long run. Some pour their hearts into things that don’t really matter to avoid doing the more important, but harder, things.
God knows this. God created human nature, just like He created water and electricity. He knew how it would all turn out. Our laziness, our struggles, our dysfunction, our choices are never a surprise to Him.
But what He does with those things can definitely surprise us. God can use the struggle of an addict to show His power and strength and compassion. God can show the world His provision to one who can’t make ends meet. God can show grace through someone and to someone struggling with a family relationship.
As believers, we need to be open in sharing our struggles with each other and with people seeking the faith. When others see how God steps into our hardships with us and carries us through, we have the most powerful testimony there is.
Our weakness, our difficulties, prove to ourselves and others that God is near and that He cares about our lives. Often in those times, our faith becomes real. Why wouldn’t we want more of that?
I’m certainly not saying that I’m ready to pray for more difficulty in my life. But when the hardships come, and they will, I pray that I see them less as a punishment and more as a journey to a new glimpse of God’s power in my life.
My Prayer: Father God, help me to bear my struggles with confidence and peace, knowing that You are in them with me. Help me to be vulnerable with others, sharing my testimony of Your goodness to me through all the circumstances of my life. Show me how to help carry someone else’s burdens, to encourage others, and to love the people You’ve placed in my path. Thank You for Your faithfulness, love, and care for me. Amen.
Glynis Becker writes devotions and inspirational fiction, hoping someday to have a published novel on her resume.
She has co-written several screenplays, including Sinking Sand, available on DVD and digital streaming.
Glynis, whose childhood was spent all over the country as an Air Force brat, has called South Dakota home for many years, along with her husband and two teenage children.
When she’s not writing or reading, she is watching more television than she should and crocheting.
You can find her at www.glynisbecker.com.