Are Struggles Really Necessary?
Do you ever feel the struggles in life? Have you found yourself struggling with what seems like a loss of control in your world? More specifically do you battle with God over some of the more serious struggles in your life? Sometimes it seems like God isn’t listening or doesn’t understand what we are going through. Struggles are hard, painful, and we just want them over with. Viewing life from our perspective on this side of the world, especially when faced with difficulties, often finds us praying for our way to be done forgetting that His way is the best way.
In North America, it is the season of the year that the Monarch butterflies began their migration. The eggs are laid, cocoons form and butterflies emerge as they begin their long flight to Mexico for the Winter. It is a magnificent sight for those privileged enough to see the masses of these beautiful creatures in flight. It seems like an easy life to simply hatch, eat, make a cocoon, and then fly south for the winter. But even the beautiful butterfly holds some significant struggles in life especially when humans decide their way is better than God’s.
Struggles Can Lead to Life
A family wanting to protect the butterflies from predators brought in two cocoons that were just about to hatch. On that special day of emergence, they watched as the first butterfly began to open. The beautiful creature squeezed very slowly and seemingly painfully through a tiny hole that it chewed in one end of the cocoon. After lying exhausted for about ten minutes following the agonizing struggles of emergence, the butterfly finally flew out the open window on its beautiful new wings.
The family decided the second butterfly should not have to go through such an excruciating ordeal. So, as it began to emerge, they carefully sliced open the cocoon with a razor blade so it would not have to struggle. However, because of this the second butterfly never sprouted its wings. And in about ten minutes, it quietly died, instead of flying away. The family thought their way was easier for the creature but easy is not always best.
The family didn’t understand and couldn’t see that the difficult struggle that the butterfly goes through to emerge is necessary for its life. As the butterfly emerges from the small hole it pushes liquids from deep inside its body cavity into tiny capillaries in the wings. There they harden to complete the healthy and beautiful adult butterfly. If the butterfly doesn’t go through the struggles in the emergence it simply has no wings that can fly. It loses not only its ability to fly but its freedom to live.
Struggles Build a Firmer Foundation
Struggling is not fun so we often seek the easier solution even to our ownÂ detriment.Â We tend to want to be in full control and many times can’t see past the immediate struggles we face. We want the struggles to end and end now! When we see our life with these blinders on we forget that it is not our way that needs to be sought. When we face the difficult struggles in life the first place we need to turn is God. Seek His will and wisdom above all else. Asking Him to restructure our priorities and help us see the things we need to so that we can commit to acting upon His will over ours. We must recognize and acknowledge God’s power to redirect our life allowing our prayer to align with His consistent character and plans.
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing. Psalm 143:10 (NLT)
Determining Your Reference Point
There is a story about a highway department that once set out to build a bridge but did so by working from both sides. When the workers reached the middle of the waterway, they found they were thirteen feet to one side of each other. The workmen on each side used their own reference point. It is no wonder they didn’t connect. It is the same for us for when we don’t use Christ as our reference point we can’t seem to connect our life either, especially amid facing struggles in life.
In the engineering world, it is said that ”location by approximation” is not only costly but dangerous. When everyone uses their own reference point chaos often ensues. But using the reference point of Christ as our universal point we can continually move forward on a firm foundation. By using the slogan, ”What would Jesus do?” as our reference point, we can see the character of God. For He patterned the ideal life for humanity teaching us where to begin.
Learning to Live Freely in a Beautiful Life
Whether we are in the middle of struggles or just floating along the fast-moving current of life, it is important to let go and allow God to lead the way. He always has our best interest and will lead us in the right direction. His rules do not restrict us but allow us to be free and be all that He created us to be. His ”rules” prevent us from doing what might harm us and keep us from being our best.
When we choose to do our will instead of allowing God to lead, we go against our own best interest and often find ourselves in a mess. But by allowing God to guide us and seeking Him as our “point of reference” before we move forward, gives us not only the firm foundation needed in our life but also the added benefit of life contentment. God’s guidelines help us follow His path and avoid the paths of destruction that may occur by following our own will.
Challenge yourself to let God lead the way following His will and not yours. Use Christ as your “point of reference” in a life convicted by your beliefs. Understanding that it is Him that must take the lead finding your motivation in the fact that He knows what is best. Allow the comfort of His power to surround you in His love. Knowing that when He leads your life all is steady and content.
Remember that as in the life of the beautiful butterfly the struggles in your life often allow you to be free as well. So, turn to Him first to live and fly as the beautiful creature God created you to be.
Love in Christ,
My relationship with God has gotten so much stronger. He’s always had His hand on me. He always guided me. I didn’t always go where He wanted me to go. But He always had me. Now that I’m actually listening and being obedient, life is so much better.
What are your thoughts?Â
Have you faced struggles in your life? Did you call on God’s will to be done? Join the discussion by sharing your thoughts on the often difficult but necessary prayers of allowing God’s will to handle the struggles you face.