Same sad story

We all have a story to tell.  Everyone has experienced their fair share of hurt and struggles.  We’ve definitely all been there.  What separates us from it all is how we handle our experiences and how we choose to move on.  Question is…will we move on? Can we move on?
It is so easy when we have been hurt to hold on to that hurt.  We struggle to let go. We continue to tell the same sad story to ANYONE who will listen.  ANYONE who will tell us what we want to hear in order to feel better.  We wallow around in self-pity feeling sorry for ourselves and asking why it is that everyone else in the world seems happy.  We become resentful and bitter.  We are without hope.
Back in the day there was a song by R.E.M, Everybody Hurts that played on the radio.  I am not a particular fan of the song but the words play in my head a lot when I am feeling down.
               When your day is long
               And the night is yours alone
               When you’re sure you’ve had enough
               Of this life, we’ll hang on
               Don’t let yourself go       
               Cause everybody cries
               And everybody hurts sometimes
When the reality hits that you are not the only person in the history of the world to experience pain, life changes.  When you grab hold of the reality that trials and struggles happen not only for a reason but also to everyone…hope enters.
You see pain is pain.  The pain you experience is no different from the pain that I experience.  Whatever the situation we find ourselves in, at the moment, we think that no one else could ever understand our pain, but the truth is that we are not alone.  People all around us are in the middle of their own crisis dealing with their own pain.  So what do we do with that pain?  What do we do with the struggles and trials we are experiencing?
I believe that struggles and trials help to develop who we will become.  How we handle the worst moments in our life will mold us into whom we ultimately become.  I believe they help to shape our character. I believe they help to grow our faith. I believe we learn from our struggles so that we can help others. I believe we exist for a purpose other than ourselves. I believe we were created for Someone else. I believe we were created for God and I believe He created each of us with a purpose.
God created us for His glory.  We exist for Him alone.
               For through Him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see- such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through Him and for Him.
                                                                                                                      Colossians 1:16
The problem is that many do not know or understand this concept. We forget or do not know that this life is not about us.  We do not exist for our own story.  We exist for God’s story.  We are nothing but a bunch of sinful screw-ups who struggle to live a life worthy of bringing glory to a Holy God. We do not deserve to be a part of His story but because of His merciful grace, He allows us a small part.
As a part of His story, I am of the belief that God allows struggles into our lives so that we can come to a place where we acknowledge our need for Him.  A need that requires having faith in who He is and His promises. For me struggles have become the moments when I experience Him moving in my life the most.  It is when I experience His presence the greatest because it is when I lean on Him the most.  When I am hurting, when I am scared, when I am uncertain about life He is the One I turn to.  I have learned that He is the One who will lead me out of the struggle safely.  He gives us unlimited opportunities to choose Him over our own way and we often fail.  He knows that we are a work in progress but allows the bad in order to accomplish His good when we trust Him.  It is a testing of our faith in Him.  As we go through life and struggles and acknowledge Him in our life, we begin to trust Him more through the bad times. When we begin to trust Him and surrender to His plans for our life, we bring Him glory.
Life is difficult.  Life will never be perfect.  Life should not be traveled alone.  God created each of us with a purpose and a plan.  He does have a perfect plan for us all but because of sin we get it wrong. Constantly.  The good news is that no matter what is happening, whether good or bad, He is there.  He is there to lead if we are willing to acknowledge.  He is willing to comfort and heal if we are willing to let go.  It just becomes a matter of changing our perspective and seeing our trials as His way of drawing us closer to Him.  Acknowledge Him…it is a beautiful thing.

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