This morning while I was doing my morning reading, I came across a story that I related to on so many levels. The notes from Joyce Meyer in my bible were something I needed to be reminded of and I didn’t even realize it.
Funny how God works.
I was reading about the Israelites being led by God out of Egypt, when I got to the part that relates to so many of us.
The notes in my Bible about this passage:
“Sometimes God leads us the hard way instead of the easy way because He is doing a special work in us. How will we ever learn to lean on Him if everything in our lives is easy enough for us to handle by ourselves? God led the children of Israel the long, difficult way through the wilderness to prepare them for the battles they would face in possessing the Promised Land. He was concerned that when they saw the enemy they might run back to Egypt and become enslaved again in their former bondage. God wanted to teach them Who He was and that they could depend on Him to fight their battles.
Many of us think that when we enter into our Promised Land we will have no more spiritual battles. Not so! After the Israelites crossed the Jordan River and went in to possess the land of promise, they fought one battle after another. But as they learned to fight in God’s strength and under His direction, they won their battles.
If you know God has asked you to do something, do not back down just because it gets hard. When things get tough, spend more time with Him, lean more on Him, and receive more grace from Him. Realize that graces comes at no cost to you; grace is the power of God working in you and through you to do those things you cannot do. As you face challenges in you life, beware of thoughts that say, I can’t do this; it’s just too hard. Do not let your mind give up! Satan knows that if he can defeat you in your mind, he can defeat you in your experience. That is why it is so important not to lose heart and not to grow weary or faint. You can be sure that wherever God leads you, He is able to keep you. He never will allow more to come on you than you can bear (see 1 Corinthians 10:13). You do not have to live in a constant struggle if you learn to continually lean on Him for the strength you need.”
–Battlefield of the Mind Bible by Joyce Meyer
Lately I’ve been feeling like I’ve been lead the hard way in life and it’s been weighing on me. You know, something that doesn’t bother you for years and then one day the devil gets his way and throws doubt, insecurity, and dissatisfaction in your mind and you actually listen?
That’s what I’ve been dealing with.
When I read this, I realized that the season I’m in now is only preparing me for something great. I’ve been struggling to make ends meet for a few years now. I live with my mom and sister – my sister is in school full time and my mom is on disability. Don’t get me wrong, they both help out and everything… our income is just not ideal for 3 adults and 4, yes 4, fur babies. So pretty much every month we are relying strictly on faith for all the bills to get paid.
And every month, God comes through for us.
We have been able to make our bills with the most random money coming our way, random people helping us out, or bills being way smaller than they should be. It’s a struggle at times, but God has never let us down.
Sometimes, when the devil weasels his way into my mind, I start to question why I am having to live this life. Why I can’t be like my brothers and not have this much of a financial struggle? Why I’m 30 years old, single, and don’t own a house? Why I don’t have a family even though that’s one of my greatest desires in life? I’m definitely not where I thought I would be.
Then, I snap back to reality and my faith. I realize that there is a reason I am where I am right now. I may not see it, and it may be frustrating, but my faith reminds me that God knows why. If God is the one that has me here, I need to trust that He is working on something spectacular.
God moved mountains, flooded the entire earth, healed sick people, raised them from the dead, defeated the devil.. I could go on and on and on.
My point – God hasn’t changed since He did all of that.
He is still the one that can take any situation we are in, and use it to our advantage. He can give us favor with people we don’t deserve favor from. He can turn our life around in an instant. He can do anything.
So no matter how frustrated I get, deep down I know that everything that is going on in my life is for a reason. It is part of a master plan God has in store for me that ends with a life of abundance. A life where I am the giver and not the borrower, the head and not the tail. A life where I am able to go around blessing others who are living in a situation I was once living in. A life that when people see what happened and where I came from, they know the only way that I am where I am is by God’s hand.
A life that inspires people and leads them to Christ.
Isn’t that the end goal anyways? Live a life that leads others to Christ so they can feel the love and security we do?
Life is going to get hard, it’s going to be frustrating, and it’s going to be confusing.
During those times we have to remember it’s not permanent. Focus on the fact that the seasons we’re in are molding us into the person we need to be for our next season in life. The one that’s so much better. God has to work on us before He can move us and give us the blessings He’s waiting to give.
Just like the Israelites, He knows when what He wants to give us may be too much and may lead us back to a life of bondage. So until we are completely ready, He will continue to work on us. Then, once we get that blessing and He’s ready to move us on to bigger and better things, He will have to work on us again.
If we can learn to trust God and know that He has a plan, He hasn’t forgotten about us, and He loves us… then we will be able to enjoy all of the seasons in our lives, including the hard ones.