Have you ever struggled against yourself? You know, something you’ve done wrong or can’t quite change about yourself. You find yourself in a situation where you’re uncomfortable. You’re hurting. You’re confused. You’re blaming others, instead of yourself. In short, you’re just struggling.
Take heart, you’re not alone!
Everyone experiences these seasons and situations, whether we realize and admit it or not. So congratulations, you at least admitted that you’re struggling. But why are you struggling?
So congratulations, you at least admitted that you’re struggling. But why are you struggling?
But why are you struggling?
The Struggle of Transformation
Prepare yourself. You may not like this answer. In fact, it may even hurt or anger you.
The struggle is a sign of your need for transformation.
This doesn’t mean that every hard or bad situation we face is a transformation moment, though many are and can be. But these seasons (not just moments) of struggle should be seen as an opportunity, another experience of redemption (the first of course being our adoption as sons and daughters of God by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ).
Again, take heart. God is with you!
God loves us so much that He gets to the root of our problems instead of simply changing the outward appearance in an effort to ease the pain. This, in a sense, is why transformation is such a struggle. We desire to be freed from a problem, but Jesus died to free us from the root of the problem! And the fact that we feel the struggle shows that we need transformation in that area!
True change isn’t something that we can simply do on our own. The problem is much deeper and the root of it often looks much different than it’s outward expression. True change comes when we allow God to show us the root and partner with Him to destroy it.
The Plant Problem
So, what is your problem? Are you struggling with being critical or judgemental? Are you struggling with gossip? Are you struggling with rejection? If so, pulling off the leaves won’t kill the problem.
Too often we think that the solution is to stop the outward action: stop saying critical comments, stop talking about other people to friends, stop being afraid of being hurt, etc. But anyone who has pulled weeds in a flowerbed knows that pulling the leaves only makes the weeds appear to be dead. A clean flowerbed will look even worse the next day if you only pull the leaves. Instead, you have to dig a little and extract the root. The same is true in us.
The Best Gardener
The most beautiful part of this whole analogy is that God is the best gardener! He has all of the right tools to help us in our struggle. He’s even defeated the root of all our problems: sin! And He’s gentle with us. And, as painful as it is to have our roots exposed and killed, the result leads to us being more Christlike, where we experience the abundant life He longs for us to have.
And, as painful as it is to have our roots exposed and killed, the result leads to us being more Christlike, where we experience the abundant life He longs for us to have.
The Struggle Is Real
You may be thinking that those are just flowery words (pun intended!) because you have experienced or are currently experiencing the pain of a real struggle.
Take heart! So am I, along with millions of others. My struggle may different than yours but I know that we have the same God who forgives our sins AND leads us to true change! We aren’t stuck in our struggles. We can get through them!
3 Steps for Getting Through the Struggle
1. Recognize the Struggle
Denying the struggle only prolongs the pain. Admit it to yourself. Spend some time thinking about it.
2. Pray Through It
Invite God into your pain. What father would want his child to hurt? How much more will God want to help you in your pain! Speak to Him honestly and ask Him to reveal the root problem. And keep praying. Everyday. Every struggle.
3. Tell Someone
Admitting the problem to yourself may have been painful, but the result was progress. The same happens when you tell a trusted friend/mentor. Pray about this before blurting your problem to a not-so-tight-mouthed friend. Once you have a peace about it, tell the person and feel the burden begin to go away!
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog post! I appreciate everyone that reads, comments, and shares these posts and I hope you begin to realize and overcome your struggles today!
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Also published on Medium.