What Is Your Battle?

chester lake mountain picThere has been a trend recently in my life of seeing many around me suffer in physical and mental pain. Pain has never left us I know, but in the past few weeks I have been reminded over and over how many in my circle of friends are in this battle today. I have a friend in the hospital suffering symptoms brought on by anxiety. Another who is dealing with the aftermath of a car accident and another a ski accident and they are on the long, tumultuous road of recovery after such trauma. A mentor of mine is battling a debilitating and mysterious pain that has taken over her body and no one knows what the cause is or how to stop the pain. The list goes on.

At the same time, I have been in my own personal battle. Not of pain but of trying to keep balance in a new stage of life (being a new mom, still in the early years of marriage and working again). I attempt to get through each week with as few bumps and bruises as possible while seeking to make as much progress as possible at work and in our home and family. But in all honestly, it is a battle. For me the battle is in my innate desire to ‘do’ more and ‘do’ better. What I believe we all need to remember is that our purpose isn’t about ‘doing’ things at home or in the office. Our purpose is much deeper.

A word has been on my heart for my friends who are suffering various kinds of pain and this same word is one I strive to remember and believe. Even today, in spite of your situation, you are fully capable to THRIVE! God didn’t make us to simply survive, he actually desires we thrive. What we need to remember is this: to thrive in this life is possible, no matter what particular season or circumstance we are in. Thriving isn’t about attaining certain numbers or accomplishments, running at a certain pace or checking things off a list. To thrive is to live with purpose and joy and to know our God, our Father who loves us beyond measure. You and I can live with purpose and on purpose. Our purpose it to know God and make him known. Our purpose is to point to the one true God, Jesus Christ. Nothing about our situation keeps you or me from doing that.

As believers we should commit to being purposeful in our relationships and in living out the gospel. Share your story- the beautiful stuff and the real stuff that is not so pretty. Show your scars. Tell people about Jesus and the hope found only in him. Always be ready to give the reason for that hope. (I Peter 3:15) Be blessed today and encouraged to thrive. And for those who are suffering or those that are doing all they can to avoid suffering, remember God works through the tough stuff to build us and prepare us for what he will accomplish and it is all for His glory. Instead of focusing on the struggle or running from it, embrace the fact that when we look at Jesus, when we seek to know him and make him known, we will thrive in spite of ourselves and our circumstances.

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