The Beautiful Struggle

Just wanted to give a shout out to my Creator this evening! He orchestrated such a beautiful day for our family. It began with a morning run. I awoke a bit early, actually refreshed, grabbed my Nano, and hit the streets. I witnessed the most gorgeous sunrise today, colors strewn across the sky due to the thick haze. As I rounded a bend, a monologue by Kirk Franklin rang in my ears. He mentioned two words that really struck me – beautiful struggle.

It wasn’t so much the two words individually, but the two put together that got me pondering… How often do we avoid struggle, run from the thought of pain, discomfort or inconvenience? My three children are at a point in the year where siblings arguments flair up easily and frequently. After numerous (and I do mean numerous) discussions and problem solving sessions have taken place, I’ve reached the point of avoidance. Anything to quickly correct the issue or even avoid it all together are my first thoughts. It’s a natural reaction, it’s human, it’s flesh. In my discussion with Jesus this morning, I thought, perhaps, I needed to ask for a perspective change. The struggle, can it be a beautiful thing? We all know the answer, we’ve experienced it before… the good that comes from the testing.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:2-5

I’ve noticed a bit of an inward struggle myself this week. For me, a struggle lies dormant inside, yet manifests itself in an outward fashion. I find myself short, snippy, impatient with the ones I love the most. I recognize it, let it go a few times, even ask for forgiveness, yet it shows up again and again. In my heart to heart this morning, I had an opportunity to process. As it mentions in James, I simply asked for wisdom. He simply answered me so beautifully, so personally. I returned with such a renewing in my heart. Am I “fixed”? Nope. I screwed up again nearing bedtime. Yet, it doesn’t discount the beauty of this morning, and any other “morning” for that matter. As a child myself, I’ve crawled into his lap, asked for forgiveness, and received peace.

The day continued with some great family time walking in his creation at Hocking Hills, a beautiful cave, and almost-waterfall, not too far from home. What a joy to be able to “show” our children and talk about our Creator. After a great dinner and some evening hoops in the backyard (of which I was able to beat both “boys” at 3-point shoot-out :), we cooled off and settled down for a little r-n-r. As I cuddled with the kids, flippin from gymnastics to little-league games, I reveled in the beauty that he affords us in each and every day. Do we look for it? Do we listen? Do we watch? Do we talk?

Jesus, I’m looking forward to another gift in the form of tomorrow. Good-night.

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