During the past few months since the April Tornado, God has taken our family down a path of hardship. Many lessons have been learned, and are still being learned. It is a difficult experience in the Refiner's fire. I am thankful for this time of hardship as crazy as that sounds. God is shaping me into who I will one day be as a woman.But there are many days when life feels so difficult. My biggest struggle is being the oldest of a large family.
Do not misunderstand me, I love my family and I love that God placed me here. But there are days when it is just as if everything I've been working towards crumbles. Relationships are the big thing right now. It takes work to combat the difficulties of maintaining God-honoring, nurturing relationships.
"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak." Isaiah 40:31
When you get to the root of it, relationships are the only thing in life that last forever. The impression we leave in the minds of people we have come across; the bonds we make with those in our own home; what are we leaving behind? Relationships of love and kindness and selflessness? We want that so much! To be the kind of person who nurtures strong relationships, fed by the fruits of the spirit. And I've tried my hardest but I can't do it. I try with everything in me to not fail in one of the most important areas of my life, but I still can't make things work.
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." 1 Thessalonians 3:13
Realize something though. What have I been saying? I can't do it. I. Me. This is where we all fail! It's the simplest concept but it's one we constantly forget. We try to do it within our own strength; our own weak, human flesh which can accomplish nothing without the Creator giving His creation the ability to do what He created them for. But when we don't ask, we don't receive. When we don't ask we are saying to God "I can do this, I don't need help from anyone." Pride is the root. But when we humble ourselves and plead with God to give us strength, He answers.
"Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you." Matthew 7:7
This is a fleshly struggle for everyone. I think we believe that since we're Christians and naturally acknowledge God as our Lord that we assume we're set for the future and have no need to equip ourselves daily. But that's where we let our guard down! Then failure creeps in and we get discouraged and think we can't do it.
"The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song." Psalm 28:8
"It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect." 1 Chronicles 16:11
Let us not forget His unfailing promises to us. And never forget that when we can't continue, He will be with us if we only ask.
"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. " Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." Ephesians 3:16