Struggling Through Life

As we pulled into the parking lot, we were mesmerized by the mammoth beast lying before us. But there was nothing we could do but mount it.

Enormous logs dotted the mountainís side. My brother and I were on a two day backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail. The area we selected was popular because of the stunning views, but getting to them was challenging. We were determined, so we hoisted our backpacks and stretched our legs between the embedded logs. I had to stop for a breather a few times on my way to the top, but my effort was rewarded by breathtaking and picturesque sites. I soon forgot the strenuous journey.

Lifeís trials arenít much different in the results they produce. "When troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow" (James 1:2-3 NLT).

Considering my troubles as an opportunity for great joy isnít the easiest of Godís directives to follow. Nor does James mean I should be happy about the trials. The joy comes in knowing Godís in control and will in some way bring some good out of it. With this information in tow, I can stare at my difficulties through different lenses.

Expecting the difficultiesóand expecting a variety of them, also helps me struggle through. Mine have run the gamut from insignificant to noteworthy. From repairing a broken down car to trying to repair an entire family. From holding a sick child to standing by a dying father. Regardless of the difficultyís nature, God has strengthened my faith and formed my character through the difficulties.

Life doesnít really have to be struggled through. When Godís holding our hand, we can saunter through with confidence and joy.

Prayer: Merciful Lord, may we see lifeís difficulties as opportunities for our faith to be formed and our character to be refined.

Martin Wiles
Hodges, South Carolina, USA

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