Devotional: A Work in Progress
Sometimes I feel like God’s peace is this slippery thing in my hands that I can’t quite hold onto–one day I have it, and the next day I drop it. One day I feel powerful and strong, the next day I’m weak. One day I feel God’s peace and comfort, and then a few days later I’m worried about everything. I had one of those days recently where I just woke up and felt weak. I felt tired, discouraged and more vulnerable to believing lies from the enemy. And then of course comes the frustration–why am I going backwards? Why does it feel like I’m at the bottom of the ladder I’ve been climbing? Why can’t I just hold on to freedom? What is wrong with me?
I started shaming myself for the struggle because that’s not how I want to be. I got mad at myself for backtracking and I wondered if God was disappointed in my faith as I re-visited the same struggles He’s already worked with me through.
I wrote these things in my journal and prayed. And you better believe it was one of those ugly prayers where the tears were flowing. I poured my frustrations with myself out to God. And then I went for a run.
While running I realized a few things:
Maybe the hard days come because we are human.
Maybe we will always be a work in progress.
Maybe the breakthrough comes on the hard days.
Maybe we can never get stronger without the work.
Maybe it was never supposed to be easy.
Maybe the hard days keep us humble and remind us we need God.
Maybe all good things are worth fighting for.
Maybe we’ve made an idol out of the idea of a struggle free life.
Maybe there is no joy in victory if the battle wasn’t hard fought.
Just like anything in life, we don’t get better without the work. And some days we plow through that work with ease. Other days it’s a lot harder. Just like running–one day my body feels great and I can bust through three miles with no problem. The next day my legs feel like they’re stuck in cement and I have to work a lot harder to do the same run. But just because I have a more difficult run, I don’t feel like all the progress I’ve made is lost.
Why is our faith so different? Why do we get so frustrated with ourselves when it doesn’t come as easy as the day before? Why do we feel like a failure when we have to work harder to hold onto God’s peace?
What if instead of allowing the enemy to fill us with shame, we gave ourselves grace.
God is not surprised by my hard days or disappointed with me. And the same is true for you. Instead, He’s right there like a loving Father, ready to encourage us, pick us back up again, and remind us of who we really are. He wants us to come to Him on the days we can’t hold onto His peace and I say, “God I can’t do this, but I know you can.”
Maybe the journey of faith is simply a process of surrendering our lack of ability for His strength.
“Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time He said, “My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness. So now I am glad to boast about my weakness, so that the power of Christ may work through me. Since I know it is all for Christ’s good, I am quite content with my weakness and with insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-10