“In the confrontation between the Stream and the Rock,
the Stream ALWAYS Wins…
Not through strength, but through Persistence.”
-H. Jackson Brown Jr.
We live in an anxious world, full of chaos and disappointment. It seems most of us wish life was effortless, the less we need to do, the better. And, most importantly, we want to avoid all forms of struggle and friction. If we could only accomplish all our dreams, without problems, barriers, and disappointments, what a great life it would be.
How boring! Making it through all the problems and obstacles in life, while persevering, fortifies us, giving us a deep sense of accomplishment. Our struggles build character and prepares us for future difficulties and tough times. So, the next time you are overwhelmed in hard times, …
Be THANKFUL, knowing you are getting stronger!
There is no growth without Friction!
Think of how our bodies were created to deal with stress and injury. The first time you grab a shovel, head to the backyard for some gardening. What happens? Blisters! Just saying the word brings pain. You work hard all day to provide some food or bring some beauty into the world, and what’s the result? Your hands and knees are covered in those tender bubbles just under your skin. If one pops, you know the pain that follows. In addition to the blisters, the muscles throughout your body feel like you just finished a game of football, and you were the Football!
You’ve changed your routine. You’re stretching and growing. You have started using your hands and body for physical labor. With all the pain and blisters, our body is simply protecting us from doing major damage. While your blisters and muscle slow you down for healing. Your body is recreating itself to tolerate your new activities in the garden. God didn’t promise that there would never be pain. Instead, God designed our bodies to change and become what we need them to be, to handle the task at hand. The circumstances of our lives are no different.
Sure, there are times when we feel like we can’t take one more step; that there is no clear path to a good ending. Like the blisters, it hurts and sometimes the pain feels unbearable. God knows your pain, and like any loving Father, He would do anything to eliminate your agony. In the same way our body uses pain to slow us down, recreating stronger, more resilient skin and muscle, God created us to adapt. As He molds us to become stronger and more resistant through tough times, our faith is strengthened, and we build character. Story after story in the Bible depicts how the weakest were favored, blessed, and honed by God to do great things. Often through extreme trials. At the end, all were given everything they needed to persevere.
Reading the plight of the Israelites during their four hundred, thirty years as slaves, always makes me wonder; how could that be? God’s Chosen People enslaved as “sub-human”, manual laborers for over four hundred years.
Throughout history, God has turned tyranny and oppression into a means to strengthen people and cultures, preparing them for His Grace and Favor! When we focus on oppression, we are weakened. When we focus on God, we are Strengthened! Every dirty, sweaty job, to lowly for the oppressors was forced on the Israelites for hundreds of years. Was God mad, was He punishing them? No, He was empowering them with physical and spiritual strength. Understanding how God created our bodies to get stronger in adversity, it follows that the same regeneration was happening to the Israelites. After over four hundred years of toil and hard work, what shape do you think the Israelites were in? The vision of scraggly, starving slaves just doesn’t seem to fit God’s purposes, especially for His chosen people.
Clearly, they were well fed, not starving. Starving them would not serve their task master’s needs of building an empire. So, the Israelites labored for four hundred years, getting stronger every day, physically and spiritually. Is it any wonder that they became conquerors? Just as God will provide what you need, when you need it; He refined and strengthened the Israelites, mind, body, and soul for the mission ahead.
“Let perseverance finish its work
so that you may be mature and complete,
not lacking anything.”
We all have those times when we are overwhelmed with trouble or hard times. Experience has taught me, that it is in those times God is making us stronger and more resilient. Physically and spiritually. Sometimes we need new tools to move on. Other times we just need to slow down. Whatever the need, God has a plan, and He will provide all that is needed. When trouble comes, be thankful, not fretful. God is making you stronger, better.
Have faith in God, Listening for His Still, Quiet, Voice, Giving Direction …
More than Conquerors!
"Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us."
Romans 8:37 NKJV
Above All else …