Sunday, August 10, 2008

Struggle

Struggle

It’s not the triumph it’s the struggle.
– Olympic phrase during the opening cermonies

We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it. ~ Philippians 1:30

Did you ever notice that when you see the word “struggle” that you sort of cringe on the inside just reading it. I mean, it really doesn’t bring about any happy happy joy joy thoughts in your mind and it certainly isn’t something that most people look forward to.

According to
Dictionary.com this is what struggle means…strug·gle –verb (used without object)
1. to contend with an adversary or opposing force.
2. to contend resolutely with a task, problem, etc.; strive: to struggle for existence.

But you know what I have learned about that eight letter word over the last couple of years? To struggle is not always a bad thing…most of the time it is uncomfortable, yes, but bad, no, not always. Hang with me here on this. When Paul was writing the brotherhood in Christ at Colosse he spoke of his struggles. Listen to this.

Colossians 1:29 - That’s why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me.

Now, here’s what I find fascinating. Paul, who was beaten, bruised, jailed, and just about every other bad thing you can think of found strength in the midst of his struggles.

I am not sure I can always say that, can you? I want to find strength in my struggle, but most of the time, if we are being honest here, I just want it to end. I want the struggle to be over with and want to rush through whatever lesson I am supposed to learn and go right to the good stuff. Come on, I know you have felt like that too, right?

Look what Paul goes on to say in
1 Timothy 4:10 - This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.

Whoa…wait a minute here. Are you reading what I am reading? We are supposed to “continue to struggle” because our hope is in the living God. Ok…is it me, or did you just blow over that…let’s go back and re-read that one more time…1 Timothy 4:10 - This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.

Our problems are opportunities to discover God's solutions. -Unknown

Is anyone else feeling totally convicted right now? In my rush to be a “get it done” kind of girl, I tend to blow right through things and in my pursuit to complete the task, the emotion, the struggle I can loose the “opportunity” that God is presenting me with. Does that ever happen to you? You are rushing along, trying to “manage” it all, when all the while your heart, soul, and mind are screaming for you to slow down and deal with this. To wrestle with it. To engage in the struggle without necessarily having to “fix it”.

Often God has to shut a door in our face so that He can subsequently open the door through which He wants us to go. -Catherine Marshall

For those of you who have come by to visit in Mel’s World today hear me on this. It was not an accident. There is something that you are struggling with right this very minute that God wants you to hand over to Him, to sit with Him, and to talk to Him about. He doesn’t want you to blow through it but to sit in it and wrestle with it a bit. He has promised to never leave you or forsake you so don’t be afraid of it. Don’t run away from it. It’s there for a reason. You see, our struggles are not always a bad thing, but a growing thing. So today, I want to leave you with this amazing little story about the “Struggle of the Butterfly”.
Be Blessed, Melissa

a girl found a cocoon of a butterfly.
one day a small opening appeared and
she sat and watched the butterfly as
it struggled for several hours to force
its body through the little hole.

then it seemed to stop making any progress.
it appeared it had gotten as far as it could.
the girl decided to help the butterfly,
so she took a pair of scissors and
snipped off the remaining bit of cocoon.
the butterfly then emerged easily,
but it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.
the girl continued to watch the butterfly because
she expected that, at any moment, the wings
would expand and be able to support the body,
which would contract in time.

neither happened!
in fact, the butterfly spent its whole life
crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings.
it was never able to fly.
what the girl, in kindness and haste, did not understand
was that the restricting cocoon
and the struggle required to get through the tiny opening
were God's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly
into its wings so that it would be ready for flight
once it achieved freedom.

sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life.
if God allowed us to go through life without obstacles,
it would cripple us.
we would not be as strong as we could have been.

and... we would never fly.

Struggle...then FLY!,


9 Mel's World Friends Comments:

Kim 1:22 AM  

Yes, I am up. Don't know why just can't sleep maybe I needed to read this. I got your twitter so I came over to check it out. Great post and yes it spoke to me. Thanks

MyJourneyBack 10:42 AM  

Oh Mel. What a great post. And wonderful reminder. I am at home this morning about to leave to pick up my husband from the hospital so I had time to come over. Thanks so much for allowing God to work through you to share these words. Struggle has been our middle name for almost 5 years of ministry. And like you said we just keep praying that God will provide so we can just get on with ministry. I need these words.
Thank you and I hope you have a Blessed day.
Hugs,
Sherry

Just Juliana 12:39 PM  

Hi Mel, ..I guess I am in a growing process right now. Great Post!!!!

Deb 2:21 PM  

We had a speaker at church today Gail McWilliams, have you heard of her? she chose life for her 5 children as she lost her eyesight with every pregnancy. she is blind and speaks around the world, written books, and she speaks about the butterfly and its process in the cocoon, how awesome that you have it also today!!
Gail is an encourager and Mel, so are you my friend, Thanks:)

MyJourneyBack 5:18 PM  

Mel, your words this morning spoke to me. I left a comment earlier but I wanted to let you know that I just wrote a post. Thank you for these words.
Blessings,
Sherry

Anonymous 5:31 PM  

Hi Mel, this a perfect! Here is a link to an evanagelistic Olymnpic DVD called Struggle and Triumph. Check it out to see a trailer of this 26 minute film and see testimonies of some of these athletes. Thanks!!

http://www.struggleandtriumph.com/

KJ 8:09 PM  

Boy, do I know about this! There were many times that people did not feel led to help us when we were in the grips of a trial. At the time, we didn't understand. However, with hindsight, we know see how the struggle strengthened us!

I have a Spiritual Sundays post on my blog. You might find it interesting.

Hugs, KJ

Linda 12:18 PM  

What an awesome post. Struggles will make us stronger if we can see it for what it is.

Stop by my blog..I left something for you on my it.

Sara 5:11 PM  

It is so hard so grow during the struggle but so clear what was to be learned during the struggle after resolution! I have recently had some struggles that I didn't see what I was to learn until it had cleared. Maybe the next one, and I know there will be more, I can see what God is showing me sooner.

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