The Struggle

“Is not all of human life a struggle?”

Job tells it like it is.  I agree with him – do you?

Looking back, my childhood seems relatively struggle-free but I know that there were things I didn’t like and situations that were hard for me to deal with.

In my memories, it seemed like Jr. High was the worst time for relationship struggles.  Those years were strange and tough.

And then I got a taste of the adult struggles in High School as I started making plans for what my life would look like after graduation.

Life got more and more complicated after that.  Being a wife and a mother of two with a career was the epitome of the struggle.  It was a challenge just to get through each day.  I’m grateful to God for guiding me through that time, straightening out  my priorities and helping me focus on the important things.

Transitioning into the empty nest was a tough struggle for my husband and I.   Every day we missed the fun and craziness of having a house full of active teenagers.  Our priorities had to shift again.  One very positive thing is that we were able to give God more time and space in our lives.

Now that we are retired, the struggle is different but very real.  Priorities shift once again and there are still challenges.  The picture we had for our future exploded when our son was killed.  The hole his death has left in our lives is big and painful.  Rebuilding our plans for a future without him is extremely hard.

Job was right on – this whole life on earth is a struggle.

Thank you, Abba Father, for guiding me through the struggles.

Attacking the Mountains

Ezekiel prophesied that God was going to ‘bring a sword’ against the mountains.  God was planning to destroy the high places where the Israelites worshipped other gods.  He was going to smash the altars they used when they made sacrifices to their pagan gods.  Their idols would be demolished – everything would be wiped out.

God had clearly told the Israelites many times through several prophets to get rid of their idols and take down the high places once and for all.  They hadn’t done it so God was now going to let the Babylonians do it for them.

God was attacking the mountains because they wouldn’t.

How does this relate to my life?

Is there anything that God has told me to get rid of in my life that I haven’t done?  Has God been telling me to change any of my priorities?  Are there places or people or things that I care about more than I care about God?  Because – whatever they are – those would be my idols.  That would be my high place.

There was a time in my life when God pointed out an idol I had – it was my career.  In the middle of a Women’s Bible study, he whispered into my ear that I was on the wrong path.

Honestly, my first reaction was anger.  How could I possibly be on the wrong path?  My family and I went to church regularly, I was in the church choir and volunteered in many different areas at church.  I was a good person who worked hard.  How could this possibly be the wrong path?

But – in my heart – I knew exactly what God was saying.  My career goals had become too important to me and my priorities needed to change.  I didn’t stay angry very long because the truth was very evident in my life when I took some time to think it through.

I am very grateful that God identified that issue for me so many years ago because I changed my thinking and adjusted my priorities which put me on the right path – next to my Father God.  I still had a great career from which I recently retired but it no longer was more important to me than God was in my life.

As I read God’s message in Ezekiel, I can imagine that, if I had not responded to his whisper, God would have eventually ‘attacked’ my career in order to get my attention and motivate me to change.  I”m glad it never got to that point.

I need to listen closely to God’s whispers.

So do you.  Has he whispered anything to you lately?

Please open our ears, Abba Father.