Updated: Aug 23, 2021
There are times in everyone's life where we feel like we are walking on air and everything is just wonderful, then comes the times when we feel that God may have forgotten about us and we struggle to put one foot in front of the other. But in all truth, the only things that have changed are our circumstances and our perspective. God is in the same place providing the same support as he was when we were soaring on a high. I have found over the years it is tough to count your blessings in the dark, but that doesn't mean they aren't still there.
There is a beautiful old hymn "God of the Mountain" which says for the God of the mountain is the God in the valley when things go wrong, he'll make them right, and the God of the good times is the God of bad times, the God of the day is still God in the night. Once again, the only that changes are our perception of it all.
It sure is easy to trust God and sing his praises when life is easy but true strength, growth, and maturity come from the hard times. The times that drive you to your knees, and make you reach up to God and put your full brokenness in his hands and rely solely on him to help you get through whatever trial of tribulation had landed on your doorstep. 1 Chronicle 16:11 says "Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his face continually". This scripture, for me, directs me too long to be in God's presence all the time and not just go looking for him when times are tough. I truly believe that without the tough times I would never know the extent of God's love, compassion, ability to bring peace, and how his plan is bringing greater outcomes than anything I could have ever dreamed.
Living a Christian life takes hard work and dedication but the rewards are amazing. Our weaknesses will always be our weaknesses but with God's help, we learn to know them and how to deal with them. The same can be said of our strengths, our strengths are our strengths and we have to learn where our "gifted areas" of life are because when we attempt to work outside those areas, struggles ensue. It also takes time, dedication, and hard work to bring our gifts to a maturity level that we can use to honor God. I spent much time trying to pinpoint what my gifts are and to be totally honest I still have no clue. Maybe writing is one of my gifts and if so I will continue to blog. However, every English teacher I ever had will be totally astounded if they hear one of my gifts is writing. Pathetic English student I surely was.
Recently, I knew there was a need for helpers with the Young Families Church service on Saturday mornings, even though I thought this isn't my forte in life, I said I would help only if they were stuck. Well, now I participate in the children's church portion once a month and truly love the heart and souls of those darling children. The wide variety of personalities is astounding and although somewhat frazzled when you have over 10 children under the Grade 1 level, for over half an hour, I leave laughing over something each time. They truly are a blessing to my life. Now you tell me, who knew better? Me, who didn't think I would enjoy it, or God who put it on my heart to say I would help. Don't get discouraged or give up if you are attempting to find your "gifted area" just keep trying new things but remember to ask God for direction, and he will get you there much quicker.
I guess I said all this to simply say, life in itself is a struggle. There are great times and horrific times, we struggle, we fall, we win, and we soar, we search for our true selves, and we wonder is it all worth the pain associated? The short answer in my life is, YES! It truly is during the difficult times that my strength has endured with God's help and my sense of peace stayed intact, and the blessings continued to flow.
Don't give up, be real about it all, reach out and reach up, and remember it is well worth the pain because the other side is beautiful. Without the "thorn in the side" moments, we wouldn't rely on our faith in God. God's grace is sufficient 2 Corinthians 12:9 tells us "My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness".
Put your faith in the God of the Mountain. We, I, may not win every battle but I read the book, and guess what - WE WIN THE WAR!