Sometimes it is easy to see purpose in things and sometimes it feels nigh to impossible.
As I was contemplating the “struggle ” of that very thing ,I longed to know what the Lord had to say on that subject. When I contemplate the hugeness of a simple thing , like being able to freely go pick up The Word and see what He says, it causes my heart to tremble. But that is another post entirely. So I flipped to the back of my Bible and looked up struggle. This is what it had to say…
Struggle is when there is a violent effort or exertion. You must proceed with difficulty or great effort ,sometimes in the face of opposition. That feels like this whole last year for us.
Paul struggled. I struggle. You may struggle, with a truth or obstacle or difficulty in your path.
Paul said , ” Physical training is good ,but training for godliness is much better,promising benefits in this life AND in the life to come. ( I LOVE to think about the benefits we have in the life to come.) This is a trustworthy saying and everyone should accept it. THIS is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our HOPE is in the Living God who is the Savior of ALL people and particularly of all believers.
For those of you who know Alan well you know that he has always been very diligent and disciplined in his physical training. He always had some sort of workout regimen since we met in high school. He also believes in doing everything to your best ability. The man loves anything physical. He loves water skiing, armwrestling, snow skiing, weightlifting, crossfit and so much more. He is one of those people that looks into something that he may not be good at or hasn’t done before and proceeds to study it and work at it until he becomes one of the best at it.
Up until a few months ago he was still walking the steep hill behind our house. It didn’t matter that his right food wasn’t working properly causing him to drag it behind him or that he would fall. He kept walking because it is what Alan does. He works hard to do his best in all things for the Lord. That was true of physical training and even more of spiritual training.
Alan is quiet and he would normally object to me sharing about him personally but life this last year has changed our normal tendencies. In fact he told me this year that now , more than ever he realizes that our primary reason for being here is to live for and teach Jesus to everyone around us.
Alan would want you to know that no matter how much he pursued physical training, it was training in righteousness that he desired. About 20 years ago Alan was challenged to read through the Bible in a year. He took that challenge and it changed his life. Yes, he had read it off and on his whole life and had been a believer for many years. But , this time was different. He prayed that the Spirit would be his teacher. He opened his heart and mind to read it anew without preconceived ideas. His desire was not just to gain knowledge but to be changed from the inside out. He knew that in order for it to make lasting changes he would need to pursue it on a daily basis ( like his workouts). It needed to be his daily bread. It did become that. The kids and I have been the greatest beneficiaries of this conviction and discipline that Alan instilled in his life. We benefitted not because he became a perfect man ,but rather because he demonstrated on a daily basis where he drew his strength, wisdom and guidance from, the living Word of God. He became passionate that those around him know where they too could draw their strength. It is one of the greatest gifts he has given us, his family, to point us daily to the Word of God.
So as I gaze at ” my love”, Alan, across the room I realized that he would want you to know ,on this day that we celebrate Love , that whether you have received a Valentine or whether you haven’t , please KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that You Are Loved! You even have a Valentine waiting to be opened! His precious Word, that brings life to all.It might not look like the world’s Valentine’s but I promise, it is SO much better! May we all find the fullness of what our heart’s long for, in HIM!
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment , worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weigh of glory.” 2 Corinthians 4:17