Handling it?

The struggle we endure today is preparing us for the strength we will grow into tomorrow. Stop for a moment to think about the last time you struggled with something and answer me this: Did that struggle bring a new strength in you? If it did not, was it because you let go of the struggle and just abandoned it? If we let go of the struggle, but allow God to continue his work within us, we won't lose out in the end. We will grow into a strength not otherwise realized in our lives.

So who can separate us? What can come between us and the love of God’s Anointed? Can troubles, hardships, persecution, hunger, poverty, danger, or even death? The answer is, absolutely nothing. As the psalm says, On Your behalf, our lives are endangered constantly; we are like sheep awaiting slaughter. But no matter what comes, we will always taste victory through Him who loved us. For I have every confidence that nothing—not death, life, heavenly messengers, dark spirits, the present, the future, spiritual powers, height, depth, nor any created thing—can come between us and the love of God revealed in the Anointed, Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39)

There is no separation that can enter into our lives when we are allowing the working of God within our lives - even if the 'working' takes on the form of 'waiting'. I think waiting may be one of the hardest forms of struggle we deal with. We want the timing of things to fit within our plans, or within our way of dealing with things. The problem with our need to have things 'fit' into the way we think they should go is that we rarely know all the things that we will face. We don't know what the struggle will involve, but the safest way to deal with it is to allow him to develop his strength within us while we wait.

Absolutely nothing separates us from the love and protection of God in our lives. If that be the case, why do we resist struggles so desperately? Maybe we don't mean to resist, but we are resisting every time we complain the struggle is too hard, the wait is too long, the cost is too much. Yes, these are indeed the valid emotional responses of our heart in the midst of the struggle, but our refuge is found in the midst of the struggle, not in the absence of it! We don't even realize we have stepped out from 'inside' the refuge of God's protection until we realize we are in the midst of the struggle.

We experience sorrow - does that have the power to be our undoing? No! We endure hardship after hardship - does that have the power to uproot us from the position of grace in God's kingdom? No! We wander around in empty places of loneliness and darkness - do they have the power to shut down the light of God in our lives? No! The 'absolutely nothing' of God's protection, power, and purpose in our lives is exactly that - NOTHING will separate us. We might feel like the struggle is harder than we will ever be able to handle, but perhaps that is the purpose of the struggle - to show us we aren't supposed to handle it alone! Just sayin!

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