I was born into a Christian family and grew up in Sunday School, a Pastor’s kid. Nonetheless, I am one of the most imperfect person you’ll ever meet. I struggle a lot; I struggle with forgiveness, I struggle with loneliness, I compare myself with others, I hold on to bitterness, fear takes me over, and there are days where I get extremely downcast. Sometimes I am not in the mood to read my Bible. There are days or weeks or months when I read the Bible but there is no illumination. There are whole seasons of days when I sing, praise, and yet feel nothing. At times I get distracted when I pray and there are times of prayer where silence kills me. There are too many instances when I distrust the very existence of God and the sending of His Son. I stumble. I feel like I live a defeated life. I don’t always choose joy and some days it’s even tough to smile. I try to cover it up and look like everything’s fine, externally. I feel that it’s hard, day after day, to keep going. I question myself, “What’s wrong with me? Why is it all such a struggle for me?”
I’m simply human, not much different from anybody else, and I desperately need Jesus every single day. I’m not proud of these things but they’re very true and I’m sharing them in the hope that I can encourage those who are standing in the same situation. We are all human. We all struggle. It does not matter if you are a missionary’s kid, a pastor’s kid, a believer, or if you’ve grown up in church your whole life. I just want to remind you that we are all human and even though the struggle is real, we serve a God stronger than that struggle. We serve an amazing God.
Lately, I’ve been constantly reminding myself of these things.
- The struggles may hinder me but they do not define me.
- God loves me. (Where I see failure, He sees an opportunity for growth. Where I see addiction, He sees an opportunity to take a step.)
- I was really lost. I’m a little less so at the moment. And then a little less again in a while. Lesser still tomorrow.
- Neither beat yourself up over falling down nor forget to pick yourself up afterward. Remember to keep going and do your best for Christ.
Psalm 42 gives an overview of the emotional condition of the psalmist who is depressed and full of turmoil; how he is dealing with his own seasons of darkness.
3 My tears have been my food
day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”
4 These things I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
under the protection of the Mighty One[d]
with shouts of joy and praise
among the festive throng.
5 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
6 My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
7 Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me. (Psalm 42: 5, NIV)
In all of this, he is still fighting for hope.
We often assume that struggling is bad but trust me it’s not. In yet another paradox, I’ve found that the deeper I struggle the stronger I try to find and understand, and my love, devotion, and passion for God grows more. Not less. I am not saying that I don’t struggle anymore, but He allowed me to wrestle through it with Him. God is not afraid of our struggle and fighting hard does not tear up our relationship. In fact, when embraced, it actually leads to a stronger bond.