“Go through the winepress of God where the grapes are crushed. You must struggle to get expression experientially, then there will come a time when that expression will become the very wine of strengthening to someone else” – Oswald Chambers.
Read that quote ONE MORE TIME!
The truth is we all struggle, we all have a battle we are facing. That Instagram model we follow. That business entrepreneur we want to be like. That neighbor we envy. That friend who seems to always have it together. We all struggle, but not every struggle has a purpose.
Many struggle because they think that this is the way that life must be lived – “if I don’t work hard for it, if it doesn’t require my sweat, blood, and tears; it is not worth it”. Others struggle because they fail to live – they are just existing and waiting on some tide to get them to a destination. As sons and daughters of God, through Jesus Christ, when you face a struggle (I am not talking about a trial, test, or temptation here – I am talking about when you are faced with assessing yourself as you are), it is always with purpose. To say that another way, when the Holy Spirit shows you the merit of yourself (your personality, your character, your mental state of being, your insecurities, those parts we call flaws); the Holy Spirit does so with intention and for a purpose far greater than you and I can ever imagine. Yet it is not about us- better put, it is not just about us.
The struggle. A necessary space where all of God’s children need to take the time to be in for growth, preparation, and empowerment. Like the Hyperbolic time chamber (click on the word to learn about this Dragon Ball reference), where you must face your own fears (your mind) and limitations in order to grow stronger, the struggle is a space where we get to understand who we truly are as reflected to us by our loving God (Understanding), and learn about the depths of God’s heart about us (Purpose).
The struggle enables us to see how God takes our knowledge and converts it to wisdom. God takes our knowing and converts it to understanding. God takes what we call believing and we witness how it is converted to being, abiding, communing with God. The struggle enables us to see God at work even in the most mundane spaces. The struggle sharpens our spiritual eyes to see beyond seeing. The struggle is purpose-full.
Truth be told, I often try to run away from struggles. I look for and try to take the easy way out. I want God to be more of a Geoffrey (think Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) and less of a Guide. But this cannot be so. For it is in the struggle that the truth of Who I am, Whose I am, and What I am made for is revealed in its complex simplicity. With God, narrow is the way; and the struggle is the purpose (lesson). So let us Learn Well; for ourselves, for others, for generations yet to come. Embrace the struggle, for in the very midst of it you find the expression of who you are.
“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” – 2 Timothy 2:15
Chambers, Oswald. (2017). Approved Unto God. My Utmost For His Highest. Discovery House from Our Daily Bread Ministries. Oswald Chambers Publications Association, Grand Rapids, Michigan.