Monday, July 22, 2013

The Gospel of Struggling Well

There Are Times when we may get the distinct impression that struggling isn’t the way for the person of God; that we are somehow blessed so abundantly that struggling isn’t appropriate for us any longer. Somehow we lose our grip on the fact that the gospels, the prophets, Job, the psalmists, and the apostle Paul often spoke in terms of suffering. It doesn’t sit comfortably with us, to struggle. And perhaps that is because we do not connect struggling with how to struggle.
It is a secret of life that we must struggle well if we are to understand God and life – more fully. For, all will struggle to some degree, and what point is it to get resentful. No, struggling is about an opportunity; we are only one step away from struggling well, that struggling in a ‘well’ sort of way requires much ‘work’ of surrender.
The gospel way is not about bearing our struggling in a worldly sense; it’s very much about bearing our struggling in a sense completely foreign to the world.
In this sense we are called to struggle gladly. So that makes little sense to us because of the pain, but there is gladness in knowing that God is with us notwithstanding our pain – that our comfort isn’t really the point. To struggle well is not to glory in the struggling – because nobody would love to struggle – but it is to endure our struggling patiently, without resentment, with as much grace as we can receive from God.
Struggling is the doorway to the intimate knowledge of God. We must walk through that door and bravely into our pain in order to struggle well — and there is no point to not struggling well. God draws us to Himself through our calamities. When we have been drawn, and we enter into the heart of the struggling-sensitive Godhead, there the LORD shows us His revelation and we are gifted with cherished Divine Presence.
Even — especially even — in our struggling God shows His love for us, by the gift of something we could not have otherwise. This is something eternal, something deep; something incomprehensible for those who haven’t yet struggled well.
Struggling is an opportunity to know God better – by struggling well. Because we are only one step away from struggling well when we are faced with a struggle, struggling is an opportunity. Struggling well requires much ‘work’ of surrender, and it’s the way we overcome our struggles as Jesus overcame the world.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.

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