Monday, April 18, 2011

Struggles, and Hope

This morning I want to share a part of a note a dear friend sent me.
It, and the prayers of my friends, have helped me get over another 'hump' in the daily grind, and struggles of life. I hope it may be a word that will help you too.

"You used the phrase in one of your last emails that you are so tired of struggling....I think that phrase is key. At this point anything that is not an immediate issue, put on the back burner. Make a list your immediate issues on paper. As in getting out of bed, showering, opening the store, etc. If the web site can wait, then let it wait. You are not in a race. There are no winners and losers here.
All struggling does is keep you going in circles, feeling like you're not getting enough done and coming up short at the end of each day exhausted and bereft. Such a vicious circle that we have all gotten stuck in throughout our lives. What I do when I am caught up in 'the circle' is take 2 or 3 giant emotional steps back from the struggling issues and ask God to show me the big picture. This helps me see what I have to do now, today, and what can wait. God will help you do this. Giving us a new perspective, His perspective, is something He delights in doing. Number one it stops the struggles and number two it gives Him and us joy. Ask Him for help making your list and taking some emotional steps backward so you can see the whole picture."

If you have time, here is more that may help. It is was one of the devotions I read this morning. Love how when God has something to say, He tells you more than once, so you get it. =) It is an excerpt from Christ Notes:

"In every situation, there are always two stories—the story you see and the story God sees.

Sometimes life seems to be taking us down a huge detour and everything looks like it's not going our way. In those situations, our life and our story seems to be a disaster.

This is exactly what happened to Joseph, whose story is found in Genesis 37-50. Joseph's brothers jealously hated him and sold him into slavery. Joseph was wrongfully put in prison for raping Potifer's wife, when really he refused to compromise his integrity by sleeping with her. Then, Joseph helped get the chief cupbearer out of jail; however, when the cupbearer had an opportunity to return the favor and get Joseph out of jail, the man forgot about Joseph. Joseph ended up spending thirteen years in jail for something he didn't do.

At this point Joseph's story was going haywire, but God's story was right on track. That's because God had an amazing plan for Joseph's life; God was going to use Joseph to save Egypt and the surrounding lands for seven years of devastating famine. What looked to Joseph like a huge detour was really a great plan of God to provide food for countless people, including the very brothers that had sold Joseph into slavery.

At the end of this, Joseph realized that God had a bigger plan for his life, and after his brothers come to him for food, he tells them: "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives" (Genesis 50:20).

All along, God's story was right on track.

This same principle is also true in the life of Jesus. To the disciples, it looked as those Jesus would be a great king who would rule Israel and return the nation to greatness. They hailed him as a great leader. So, when Jesus was being crucified, the story they saw looked like a major train wreck—this great leader whom they had followed for the past three years was suddenly dead. However, God's story was at its peak—God was in the process of connecting humanity to himself.

There's what you see and what God sees.

When your life seems to be a major disaster; know that God has bigger plans to use your life for great things. The story you see may not reflect the long-term story God has planned. Therefore, trust God, knowing that he works for good in all circumstances (Romans 8:28)."

I hope these are encouraging words that will help you through your day.


barbara jean


Crimson Heart Studios said...

Barbara, it seems like we both have been traveling in the same boat lately . I've been so overwhelmed, trying to keep all those spinning plates from hitting the ground. I think this is a common problem with women. Thanks for this post. Cindy

Coleen said...

I don't know what your struggle is, but, I can relate to "struggle" I love the sentence "In every situation there are always two stories - the story you see and the story God sees."
Thank You for posting really helped me!!

Heart Hugs,

Irma@CosasBellas said...

Oh sweet Barb you have been blessed with a friend of great wisdom.
When we lost everything, 5 yrs ago, I failed to see any possible purpose God would have in allowing that to happen. We have been through some major struggles but in the midst of it all He has never abandoned us. Now, when we look back at it all, we see the great blessings that came in the midst of the trials, blessings that would have never occurred had we not been exactly where God had put us.
Over our sofa, in our living room hangs a large frame with my husbands favorite verse Jeremiah 29:11 that I am sure you are quite familiar with "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope". Rejoice my friend!

Can I get an Amen?