Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Struggle

I'll be the first to admit that I like life easy. Way easy. I've often joked that if I had been born in an earlier generation, I never would have made it... only that's not really a joke. Give me my electricity, my DVR, my vehicles so I don't have to walk, and my drive-thru restaurants.

  Convenience. In our society, we've grown accustomed to a hurry up response. I'm incredibly impatient. Just watch me on Tuesday morning, my first day back in the office after the weekend and a day at clinical. Is it just me, or do the few minutes it takes my computer to boot up take forever? Which leads me to click and click and click and eventually lock up the system.

I've been blessed, and I know it. While I was never a stellar student, I was always able to do just enough to get by... until nursing school, when I learned the definition of hard work. Even then, though, I struggled through and persevered...

And writing papers has always been my niche... until this semester. And this finance class is a struggle. Two semesters ago I had a class called biostatistics that was hard. The name of the class just sounds hard. I knew it was going to be difficult going into it, and so I worked and complained and worked and complained, but by the grace of God and a teacher who assigned grades on a very steep curve, I managed to get an A. Now, with this finance class, I can see my 4.0 GPA sliding down the slippery slope... and today I got very frustrated.

And last night, I spilled milk on my computer and the top row of letters are now frozen, you know, those important ones like e, r, t... And I got on gradebook and saw I had gotten a 75% on my last assignment for finance, and I realized how life is a series of ups and downs. A 75%? Seriously? After all the time and effort I spent on that assignment? And now my computer won't work, and I have just kept... gaining... weight. Which really has nothing to do with anything, except I have pushed exercise to the back burner as I worked on papers and assignments and all this other stuff...

So today, as Pastor Kemper preached about an eternal hope, I read a familiar verse. Romans 5:3-5, " Not only so, but we[a] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."

The struggles we meet are temporary. Earthly. This class will pass. I'll get my computer fixed or settle for using Wallace's every now and then. If we can remember this, that struggle is temporary, it helps us fix our eyes on what is eternal... the hope of Jesus Christ, and this hope, produced from us modeling our character after Christ and allowing Him to manifest through us by His fruits, will help us struggle through our temporary burdens. If we don't fix our focus on Him, we become an enemy of the Cross. When I am concentrating on my struggles, my classes and my weight gain and the fact that I have been inconvenienced by a lack of my own computer, it takes away the joy that allows others to come to know Christ through us. This is described in Philippians 3:19, "Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things." The enemy of Christ... their god is their stomach. This verse stuck out to me today because of my struggles. Not just food, but the insatiable need to be filled... filled with wordly things. Focusing on earthly things, everything but where it should be.

So tonight I'm glorying in my sufferings. My computer not working meant that I watched Caleb jump on the trampoline and read some and took a nap with Wallace and watched football. I forced myself to do an hour on the treadmill. I'm looking up verses on wisdom and am renewing my focus... even if it means it is a struggle.

His grace is sufficient... even for financial management.


  1. I'm reading this late. Late for the day posted and late at night (which you'll see if the time posts--but maybe not). anyway what you said about struggles in this life being temporary and our need to fix our focus on the eternal things really spoke to me. You see it's Kendall again. She's had a tough week. And today she found out she's got another stress "reaction" they say not a full blown fracture this time. I had been praying all week for her. I knew the bone scan was going to be today. I found out about 2 hrs before church the results. The enemy was launching SCUD (Satan continuously uses distractions) missiles right and left. Go on home he said, you can't praise God for an unanswered prayer, he said. But I didn't listen to him. I remembered that God had carried me through something much harder than this 15 years ago and He will carry my girl through this minor setback again too. I turned and fixed on the eternal. I thought of the song that says "sometimes He calms the storms and sometimes He calms me" tonight He calmed me. So then I thought of another song that I heard for the first time this morning "At the top of my lungs I will sing hallelujah!!!" I'm gonna keep that one close by, cause that is what I want to do. Thanks for blogging. Keep up the good work.

  2. Praying!!! I love that girl.