Wrestling through the hard things
I want to quit hard things often.
In fact, I want to quit most things when they don’t feel good and as much as I don’t like that about myself, I don’t think it is weakness - I think it is normal.
In starting a blog and not having the traffic or engagement I desire, I want to count that as a fail and quit. In writing a book when I don’t have the feedback or encouragement or when I don’t have an easy writing day, I want to set it on a shelf. In seeking friendships, when I don’t have quick acceptance or reciprocated feelings, I want to throw in the towel. When I have my feelings hurt or feel left out, I want to just retreat to my safe home. I don’t like it when things are hard or uncomfortable. I don’t like knowing I’m supposed to do something and not having the result I anticipated.
Are you the same?
Do you want to quit or avoid hard things?
It is vulnerable to admit the things that you feel should be easy, are not in fact easy.
It is also vulnerable to admit that things are hard that seem so easy to everyone else.
Marriage. Parenthood. Adulting. Learning. Changing behaviors. Sticking with new habits. Self-Control. Friendships. Being emotionally present. Boundaries. New ventures.
I’ve been reminded over and over that there is an invitation made by God to come and wrestle with Him in my frustration. The growth, the radical change in myself, the perseverance through the hard, comes not from waiting for God to deliver results, but in my wrestling with Him through it. Choosing to show up and do the hard thing over and over, choosing to stay the course can be a very lonely place. I know. Trust me, I know.
It comes from allowing God’s truth to be a balm to my soul when I feel overlooked.
Genesis 16:13 “You are the God who sees.”
It comes from sitting still long enough to feel the emotions of the moment and then asking God to meet me there.
Matthew 9:36 “Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them because they were distressed.”
It comes from trusting God enough to bring everything to Him for the purpose of reasoning with Him, not in fear, but in His abundance of love for me.
Isaiah 1:18 “Come let us reason together, says the Lord.”
When we think of two people sitting down to reason about something, it is not the same as receiving direction or instruction. It is not a reprimand or hand slap. It is not a belittling or irritation. To gather with the intention of reasoning means that I want you to help me understand you and I want you to understand me. I want it to be a relationship in which a wrestle happens until we understand one another. Our relationship with God should be like that – an ongoing reasoning. God wants us to continually wrestle with Him. He wants to understand us and wants us to understand Him.
Sometimes I forget that God can handle my poor spirit. He can handle my desire to quit. He can handle my annoyance that I have to continue to show up and do hard things even when I don’t want to. And when I choose to wrestle with Him, I come out with these reminders:
- He loves me
- He will go before me
- He will uphold me
- He will protect me
- He is working all things for my good
- He won’t leave me
Then I’m reminded that He only asks us to come to Him for this wrestling because of how deeply He loves us, and how deeply He loves humanity.
“Come, let us reason,’ says the Lord” Isaiah 1:18