A blank page can either be exciting or frustrating. I know this because as a writer, I have felt both exhilaration and annoyance when trying to communicate my thoughts through the script. Both experiences require a generous supply of patience and grace. I have a passion to share what an amazing friend my Jesus is, so, sometimes I rush through a process meant to take time. Conversely, there are some days I procrastinate sharing what I should because I am unsure of how to say it. Patience. Grace. Both encounters need them. Life is like that too; we need a deep reserve of patience and grace to draw from. Guess what. We have a reserve like that – His name is called Wonderful, Counselor, Jesus. He knows what we face each day – the good and the bad. He daily intercedes for us in prayer with divine patience and grace we cannot fathom. So, on the days when my eagerness is hard to contain, He steers me away from rash decisions and fills me His patient wisdom. And, in those irritating moments when I am disappointed and confused, He has forgiving grace to see me through to a peace that passes all understanding. Life, it’s a blank page of sorts. And, I am ever learning, the Author of mine is a best-seller.
As I sat in a classroom the other day, I was struck by a simple, yet profound, truth – our struggles are never wasted. Five years ago, when I was sitting in my college Algebra class (with my hand covering my tears,) if you had said I would be a Math tutor one day, I would have laughed out loud – seriously! I mean, even now, in our upper learning center where I work, there is a joke – if it’s a Math problem ask Mr. Taylor, if it’s English, ask Mrs. Brown. Truth. And, honestly, I have been super with that. However, God had another plan, and it involved my dislike of numbers. I knew this as soon as I looked up at the problems I had worked through with a struggling student. You see, because I know what it is like to battle mathematics, I understand every frustrated tear falling down my sweet student’s face. I get it. And she can tell. As we work our way through, I see the loving hand of my Father teaching me He is always working things out for our good. Every difficulty we face, each weakness we muddle through, and all the battles we fight will be filled with potential to bring Him glory. And yes, I know all-too-well the struggle is real. Yet, when we are weak, His strength is made perfect. God will use our inadequacies, weaknesses, and areas of difficulty to make us better encouragers, better teachers, better friends, better human beings. Remember, struggles are never wasted if we allow them to be used – for real.
“The devil wouldn’t tie you up if he wasn’t afraid of what would happen if you got loose.” Pastor Steven Furtick, Elevation Church You Must Be Important
As a woman loosed from the chains of addiction, I know what its like to be “tied” up and struggling. There are chains you feel you’ll never break. But when Jesus set me free from all that, I knew God had a purpose for me. And although it has been 7 years since those shackles fell off, the enemy of my peace, the opposition of my joy, the naysayer of my faith is always looking for new ways to constrain me from fulfilling my divine destiny. But oh my soul, and with all that is within me, I will keep praising the Lord, for He that is within me is greater than he that is within the world. I don’t know much y’all, but I know this – Jesus loved me enough to die for me. That kind of love is more than powerful enough to bring me into His purpose for my life. He who begins the good work in us is faithful to complete it!
A few years ago, my Father saw me afar off and came running to meet me on my way back to His house. These past years have been filled with His patient forgiveness, His abundant grace, His passionate devotion, and His abiding peace. I long to be an instrument of His peace in the lives of
of others who need encouragement as I did (and still do.) My heart is to be an arrow in His quiver, spreading the good news of His love and power to others.