I’m going to admit two things. First, I’ve been fighting the mulligrubs. I’ve been doing my best to shake it off but, it’s been a struggle. As a matter of fact, everywhere I look it seems the people I care about are in struggles of their own. There are health struggles, relationship struggles, financial struggles,spiritual struggles.
To struggle means to proceed with great difficulty or to strain to be released from what is holding you back. It means to exert force when you meet resistance. It means you haven’t quit trying. You haven’t given up. You haven’t arrived but, you are determined to get there.
So, now with that clarification I can admit that I’m struggling without feeling as if that is admitting defeat. So can you. So can we all.
We can stand a little taller and breathe a little easier. We can square our shoulders and take our stand. We can set our jaws and focus our eyes. The struggle is real. But, we are strong. As a matter of fact, the struggle has made us strong.
The second thing I want to admit is that sometimes I need reminding of all of the above. Sometimes I need to go back and read what I’ve write myself. Sometimes I need to contact trusted friends and ask for back-up. Sometimes I need to forgive myself for stumbling and realize I wouldn’t have stumbled if I hadn’t been moving, working, trying, struggling.
When those days come. When the struggle seems too much. When I’m fighting the mulligrubs. When I wonder what I’ve gotten myself into. When I realize I’ve messed up in my efforts to do the right thing. When I have to make myself do the next thing and the next and the next. It’s ok. It’s ok to ask for help. It’s ok to reach out. It’s ok that I’m not enough on my own. It’s ok because I am not alone.
I believe we have an adversary of our souls. I believe he is the father of all lies. I believe one of his most successful strategies is to try and convince us that we are all alone. He wants to isolate you by making you think you are the only one.
In 1 Kings 18 we can read about some of Elisha’s struggles. He was a mighty man of God and saw many miracles. And yet, by verse 22, he was struggling. He was weary. He declared that he was left all alone. God showed him otherwise. The truth was, there were others. Others, who were struggling alongside him. He was not alone.
I can’t help but recall a scene from an animated movie where a fishing net has caught a bunch of fish. The fish are struggling to get free. Finally, they are told to all swim in the same direction and to do so together. They’re still struggling. They’re still resisting. They’re still trying to break loose. But, now, they’re doing so together. Together, they accomplish what they could not do alone.
Last weekend I was given this shirt as a small group leader to help remind the women around me that we were indeed better together. It is true. If you have been believing the lie that you are in this struggle alone, refuse to believe it any more.