Have you ever truly changed without some kind of struggle? When things seem impossible, that is exactly where GOD’s possibilities are. In every heartache, God is right there to offer comfort and guidance. How much stronger would we be as people if we stepped back the next time we felt like the struggle was too real and asked God how HE wants us to be changed by this situation. Consulting GOD in the struggle is the key factor to seeing HIS kingdom here on earth. In the midst, of hard times, cry out to GOD and embrace the struggle because all things work for HIS good, even your heartache.
It is deeply important to embrace transformation in ourselves and in our lives. Change is the scariest thing we can deal with in this life for good reason. The unknown and the out of control feeling is something that is pushed in our human nature as wrong. Although, it is something that should whole-heartily envelop our lives. Once we grow in our lives we set out on a different turn in our narrow path. We must keep transforming into the person that God is trying to mold us to be. As we deal with stress and anxiety in our lives we have choices about how we will react to them. Keeping in mind we must transform to get to the best center of ourselves, so dealing with struggles is a true part of that.
It made me think of a story I heard that gave me a perspective that I did not know before. A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose. Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see. “Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied. Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma then asked, “What does this all mean?”
Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently.
- The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.
- The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its insides became hardened.
- The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.
“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?”
We all believe that the boiling water should not change us, but in essence, we just have to decide how it will change us, not if it changes us. The best perspective of this story was the fact that the coffee beans changed the water- not that the water changed the coffee beans. Our transformation with GOD is like this. We are not created to merely be softened and weak or hardened from the pressures of life; we were created to change and be a rich and vibrant part of our transcendent GOD.
Jesus embraced his struggles throughout his entire ministry. He knew HIS fate before any of us and embraced it even in the most difficult times. Jesus willingly trusted HIS father, in the midst of, HIS boiling water. Jesus went willingly to the cross because he understood the bigger view of GOD. In turn, shouldn’t we as Servants of Jesus, embrace our struggle for the simple fact that Jesus embraced HIS. We can look at HIS journey and see that HE had joy in it, because he had the keys to the kingdom. A wise man once said that, “maybe your pain is the purpose.” If you look a step further, we can see that Jesus’ pain was the eternal purpose and if HE had pain in this world, we will ultimately have pain too. Rich Mullins a famous songwriter said, “Never forget what Jesus did for you. Never take lightly what it cost HIM. And never assume that if it cost Him His very life, that it won't also cost you yours.”
If we keep our eyes focus on the storm, we will always wonder where GOD is and if he loved us. Although, if we keep our focus on the cross, we will see that HE clearly has always loved us, been there with us and always will. GOD is polishing our rough edges through theses hard times to make us perfect shinning diamonds for HIS GLORY. Next time struggles come into our life let’s stop a minute and look to GOD and ask “how am I supposed to change from this, so I can bring more Glory to you?” My prayer for all of us, is that in the struggles we will trust GOD enough, to keep our eyes focused on HIM and continue to be transformed into exactly what he wants us to become.