Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Struggles On the Way

Scars and struggles on the way. But with joy our hearts can say. Yes our hearts can say.....

This Matt Redman song has been running through my head today. This last week has been a struggle. Ever feel like the enemy has put a nice, big target on your back? Suddenly you are under fire from all sides? We thought we were handling the pressure of family life, work life, and mission work life ok. In fact, I recently had a friend ask me how I was fitting it all in: Skype calls, U.S. non-profit business meetings, Guatemala non-profit business emails, interviews, buying plane tickets, booking hotels, cooking, housework, and homeschooling. I flippantly said that God was just working it all out and we were flying above it all. Then suddenly, this weekend, we are yelling at each other in the car. Fighting about this business issue and that business decision.

So now, we are both offended and in heavy silence mode. But I decide to be the bigger person and offer him a piece of gum from my purse. He likes gum. He asks for it ALL the time. But he sticks his nose in the air and declares that he doesn't want any gum....... until 4 minutes later when he has now decided in his own, good time that he wants me to dig for gum. Well, no sir buddy. You had your chance. I am no longer being the bigger person. I am now in full stubborn toddler mode. Driving 70 mph down the highway, my husband is trying to grab my purse out of my lap for the gum I refuse to give him while I'm holding onto it like an old lady on the subway and strongly considering throwing all the gum out the window and onto the turnpike so he can't ever have any again. Stop laughing. It's not funny to me yet.

I guess my point is that when you're stepping out in faith, it turns into a painful growing process. I don't know why that should surprise us. It makes sense that to be able to handle big things, we need to have a very strong character. And we know what the Bible says about how to go about getting one of those. 

James 1:3 
because you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
Romans 5:3-5 
We glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

I really want perseverance, character, and hope. So, I will continue to trust God as he lets us be squeezed. Because I never know what is in that heart of mine until it is squeezed. And once I see the gunk, it's easy to ask God to wipe it off and build me up in that area. You are faithful, God, you are faithful.

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