The Growth in our Struggles

The most poignant chapter in life, that can ascertain whether you go down the part of utter destruction (self-inflicted or not) or morph into a new matured being (mind and spirit), is the phase “struggle”- dealing with life-changing, gut wrenching, soul-pulling pain: psychologically, spiritually, financially, career-wise et al. This desperate time, is the period where our ferocity, mind set, psychological perspective, spiritual discernment – changes, for the better or worse.

This is the first ever article, where my ink will carry the emotional weight and strain of life exertions, filled with, I dare say, righteous anger; so pardon any punctual mistakes. My perspective and written words aren’t convened from what I’ve just read off the internet or books; but my own personal experience, past and present. The antagonistic enemy would want to see you fall and fail, flat on your face with no strength to get back up. The “I told you so” remarks, will come incessantly; the mental-drain of “it’s all my fault, I’m in this  predicament,” takes a strong hold and grips like a wrench.

The bottom-of-the-barrel state is the watershed that could change ones destiny. Some have been totally broken and just given up, or committed suicide, others manifest this anger onto others, whilst some spin this, into a positive light through the blood of Jesus and the words of the bible; I chose the latter.

It’s funny how the world works and how life plays out, meticulous plans layed for the future are derailed by ourselves or something out of our control, we then find ourselves in a mire, struggling- career-wise, psychologically, financially, spiritually et al. The toilsome process of seeking a reprieve can either make the person, deteriorate drastically or mature into a more distinctive divergent character. We will all go through different phases in our life-time.

The bible has taught me a lot of things, especially through “this present darkness.” There’s always a light at the end of every tunnel and trials, finding your way and be guided through the maze, is the crucial key. Job 5:17-27 is one of my key passage during this trying times- (…despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty… he woundeth and his hands make whole… at destruction and famine thou shalt laugh… for thou shalt be in league with the stones of the field and the best of the fields shall be at peace with thee…). There’s a reason for everything, perhaps there’s still something you ought to learn, financial budgeting? spiritual growth in Christ? Study your bible more, understand that there’s nothing new under the sun, what you are going through, others are going or have been through it, I fully understand it doesn’t make it any less hurtful or effortlessly quantifiable. What my current state has taught and is still teaching me, is that during this trouble times, a crucial recovery process, is getting closer to God, this in turn alters your state-of-mind and soul.

 Joseph was sold off into slavery by his own brothers; later on, got thrown into a prison, whilst in there, he interpreted the dreams of two Pharaoh servants, 2 years later he became the governor of Egypt, second only to Pharaoh. Where am I coming from with this? Our struggles can often times, make us appreciate more, the microscopic details of life and discern approaching situations. The will of God is not for his children to suffer, wail and perish during struggles, but to be transformed into a refined mature being in Christ. I’d honestly state that, before I truly surrendered fully, my life to God, I was an arrogant, ostentatious and brash person, immature and probably didn’t heed instructions well, listened less, spoke too much; all that in turn thwarted me from gaining the wisdom and understanding of God’s love and His will for my life. The moment I realised, I ought to surrender my life and thoughts back to God, was the beginning of the healing and reviving process, it can be yours as well.

A lady asked me, few days back, “Emmanuel why are you always quiet,” my reply was “it’s just my demeanour.” Would I have had the same response few years back? Probably not, I was different. Our struggles if viewed with the positive light of Jesus Christ, can be a landmark in our destiny, the will of God taking shape. Psychological scars and drain can easily break a person down, but there’s emotional healing at the cross off Calvary, 1 peter 5:10 (NLT) “… so after you have suffered a little while, he will restore support and strengthen you and He will place you on a firm foundation.” I’ve come to realise that during such times, we ought to:

  • listen more (we gain much more wisdom and knowledge, when we listen);
  • observation becomes a key element within your disposition, not in a jaundiced way, but that of love and understanding people; you notice the minute unique details and the bigger picture, becomes more relevant than choking on small things.
  • speak less – not because of fear, far from it, words from the tongue are powerful and what you utter, should be relevant and to uphold others in weakened state. When you speak less, you hear more, you understand more, you evolve, you grow in Christ (body and spirit). Job 6:24 “teach me and I will hold my tongue, and cause me to understand wherein I have erred”. Also in James 1:19 “be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. 

Like the weather, there’s a season to everything in life, a time to smile, to mourn, cry, laugh, to prosper, to wain. Life is full with pain, and we are not immune to that. The essential point here, is to sow during this troubled times, rather than feeling sorry and wallowing in self-pity, get yourself up, look up to the heavens, praise the most high God, asked for guidance, learn more and understand your scenario; walk in the path of righteousness and the Lord will be your strength. During this times, we learn more about our threshold of resolution or resolve, what it’s grounded upon, the rock of Christ or a mere mortal man? We might not be able to change what’s happening instantly, but we can change our response. Good wants to breathe new life into those key struggling areas. Also put in works and effort, seek financial advice, career advice, psychological advice et al.

The bitterness is the bad apple in what should be a field of maturing roses. I smile not because I’m a masochist who loves pain, but because during the days of struggle, Jesus is our strength as we grow. James 1:24 (NIV) “consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,,  whenever you face trials of many kind, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance, let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything.” We could easily lose ourselves in struggles- spiritual lack, financial mess, mental breakdown. It create in us a coldness of heart, paralysed in emotion, lost and filled with anger, despair; but all that only lead to more despair and destruction. Persevere, build a stronger faith, seek advice, heed wise instructions, tune out adverse remarks, rebuke sinful thoughts. Psalms 145:14 (NLT) ” the lord helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads.”

Oh yeah! One final thing to get off my chest- this is for those out there (family, friends, acquaintances) who delight and out of spitefulness, bare fangs at others struggling in life; the strugglers are beaten down, broken, weak and yet all you seem to take pride in is snapping at them at opportune times, reminding them of their past mistakes and failures, rather than uplifting, you smirk and mock, throw stones and cast rocks of negative words, you’re so blinded by the past and prejudiced views already, that you don’t even see the process the struggling individual is making. One question, so if the person struggling fails, then what? You’re vindicated? Your life has got nothing meaningful going on, that someone’s else failure means you were right in a sick kind of way? There’s one thing, you forget in all this, there’s a time for everything, so if you are comfortable in life now and mock others for their own pain and struggles, a point in time will arrive, where yours will be worse. 

For those in pain, Jesus Christ is the King of kings and the rock of ages, fear no one, be respectful, reject bitterness, learn from past mistakes, seek wisdom, grow knowledge, keep and heed wise counsels. A time of change is just on the horizon.

 

Image attributed to udithawix

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