The Lens of the Struggle

Have you ever felt like there was one huge, all-consuming “thing” in your life? That no matter what book you read, what sermon you heard, everything reminded you of the struggle? It’s like viewing the world through a different lens. Somehow every conversation comes around to your “pet” topic, and even artwork seems to have coded messages about it. Surely I’m not the only one who has experienced it: this seeing parables in the world around me about my biggest struggle.

It could be anything. You’re wrestling with whether or not to go to college, and suddenly not only are the ads on the radio tailored for you, but suddenly your five-year-old nephew mentions it, and even the repair man is wearing an SIU sweatshirt? Or you’ve been struggling with infertility and not only is everyone having babies, but you accidently get your neighbor’s mail with diaper coupons, and the sermon on unity in the body of Christ is strangely full of parallels to your situation.

For years, my “one thing” was singleness. I literally saw the world through the lens of wanting to be married.  Besides struggling with unfulfilled desires, I also felt guilty that the struggle was so intense, that it literally colored everything in my life. How fervently I wished that I could see or hear something that didn’t seem to lead back to that! And really, didn’t that mean I was making an idol out of marriage?

The Lens of the Struggle

In my case, and quite possibly in yours, there were certainly days that marriage was an idol; but overall it was a godly desire. And the struggle was God’s way of refining me. It doesn’t matter how much you wrestle, but how you wrestle. Is the lens of your struggle making Him more evident in the world around you? When you look at that painting and see yourself in the lonely daisy in the corner, do you see Jesus as the sunshine that is still shining on you? If that song on the radio about rain makes you think of your secret tears, should you be ashamed of your pain?

No, be thankful that God is faithful to speak to you through everything around you. He wants your heart, and He knows this is where you are the most vulnerable. That special song didn’t just happen to come on: it was for you! He’s meeting you at every turn, not necessarily with “signs” of direction (don’t make major life decisions based on a billboard you happen to see!), but with reassurances that He sees and knows and cares. Trust Him with your heart, but don’t worry too much about your growth seeming to revolve around “one thing.” He’ll use it for your good. One day, the season will change, and you’ll see things through a different lens. Just make sure you always look for Him.

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