“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God” (2 Corinthians 4:8, 9).
It has taken me a long time to embrace struggling. No really, I truly have never appreciated things being so difficult that I have to kick, scream and claw my way to a better place. I would prefer to just be okay and on top of everything at all times, but deep down I know that’s impossible. What is possible is rolling with the punches, keeping my attitude in check, and leaning towards the positive, with a prayer on my lips. Not surprisingly, I sometimes struggle with this also. I get so caught up in the complexities of life that I forget to ask God to help me to stay positive and carry on.
In my heart I know that struggle is almost always a meaningful teacher, and I think it is a blessing that as much as I dislike struggling—I embrace learning, and treasure the knowledge that a struggle brings, but I’ll be honest, sometimes it takes a moment for that appreciation to kick in!
Cherish Your Hope
When I was a little girl I remember a story lesson about a butterfly that I’ve never forgotten even after all of these years. The little boy in the story found a cocoon. He was excited, and watched it each day. One day he saw that there was a little opening, and that the butterfly was struggling to get out. He wanted to help his new butterfly friend, so he cut the cocoon so the butterfly wouldn’t have to struggle to get out.The butterfly was able to get out unimpeded—but her beautiful wings never formed. He learned that struggling to get out of the cocoon allowed the butterfly to squeeze the fluids from its body into its wings. It was the struggle to be free that caused the butterfly’s wings to blossom.
As an adult I learned, the story was actually about a moth not a butterfly. But whether moth or butterfly, the story illustrates that the things we are struggling with at this moment are a stepping stone to beautiful wings. That makes my struggles a bit easier to bear.
God has shown me that struggle helps to mold me into the woman He designed me to be.
In times of despair, remember that when you are struggling it is a sure sign that you have not given up. Someone who has given up doesn’t bother to fight anymore; and if you haven’t given up the fight that means there is still hope. With God you always have hope. And as long as there is hope, you have in your possession the spark that will keep your fire going, even when the going gets rough.