As a mom do you ever want to shield your children from struggling with something? I do. I hate to see them in the midst of that frustration and conflict: whether it’s letting my youngest son struggle to dress himself or my oldest son struggling with addition. I just want to do it for them or make it easy. And yet, when I stop and think about it I’m really short-changing them by “rescuing” them from that struggle.
I set consequences but then want to soften the blow, so to speak, when my daughter disobeys despite the warning. If I don’t keep my word and don’t let her struggle with those negative consequences, what lesson am I really teaching her? That I can’t be trusted to keep my word. That she’s not really accountable for her actions.
If I swoop in everytime I see my little ones struggling, they never learn how to work through the hard stuff to accomplish the goal. I unwittingly send them a message that they can’t handle it. They don’t learn that new skill, or take that lesson to heart. I took the victory away from them.
I don’t want to do that.
And I wonder if God does the same for us.
We want to know why He doesn’t swoop in and clear the obstacles, take the struggles away. But maybe, just maybe there’s something to learn in the midst of this struggle. Maybe, just maybe this present struggle is the exact tool needed to shape me in a special way to be more like Him. Maybe, just maybe their will be a sweeter fellowship to grow in the midst of this struggle. Maybe, just maybe something I learn in the this struggle will be an encouragement to someone else later in their struggle. Maybe, just maybe, a deeper dependence on Him will result from this struggle. Maybe the present struggle is necessary for victory.
He says He will never leave us, nor forsake us. He doesn’t say life will be easy. He never promised that we wouldn’t struggle. He didn’t say He would rescue us from every hardship. He just promised us His guidance, wisdom, and presence during our trial. His grace is sufficient. He is more than enough.
I want my children to know the same: I’ll always be here for them, but that doesn’t mean I’ll rescue them from every hardship that comes their way. And as I watch them struggle and persevere, I’ll thank God for the struggles He allowed in my life that brought me to Him and brought me such precious gifts that would come no other way but through a struggle.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:3-4