“Wrestling…”

Not Your WWE Variety!


     I was going through a particularly difficult season a few years back when I complained to God, “This is SO hard, Lord…” The response I felt spoken to my spirit that day was, “I didn’t call you to easy!

     If life has never felt SO hard for you, don’t read further.

     If you, however, relate to my prayer, I hope you’ll read more of today’s post, the first in a series about “Wrestling.”

     When I say “wrestling,” please don’t let your thoughts park at WWE and the likes of Hulk Hogan. Believe me, that’s not the kind of wrestling I have in mind!

     No, the type of wrestling I’m talking about is the kind we do in the middle of the night,

     lying awake,

          tossing,

               turning.

     The kind of wrestling that causes us to agonize about

          difficult decisions,

               thorny relationships,

                    failing finances,

                         changing health,

                              toxic politics, or

                                   an uncertain future.

     It’s wrestling we pray over

          fervently,

               believing, with all the faith we can muster,

                    quoting all the promises of God we know,

but still,Heaven doesn’t seem to hear!

     The kind of wrestling I want to address is that which causes us ultimately to remember the agonizing Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane,

And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying,
O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me:
Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.
Matthew 25:39 (KJV)

     Are you in a season of wrestling right now? Please know I’m praying for you.

     I hope you’ll keep joining me for future posts dealing with this topic. I trust, also, you know me well enough by now to realize I don’t pass harsh judgments, give glib answers or possess insight into fancy faith formulas. I’m simply a

     loving granny,

          living in a small North Idaho city,

               listening for the still small voice of the Spirit,

                    longing to understand the character of God better,

                         learning much of life’s journey is a divine mystery.

Prayer:

Lord, In the divine mystery of our life journeys, help us to not lose hope. Give us enough faith to realize even during dark stormy times, you understand our struggles and know how they connect to the bigger story. Give us strength to “wrestle” when life feels SO hard. Bless us also with days and seasons filled with sunshine and rest. Amen

Blessings on your journey …

Sue Reeve

Grace Speaks…“I know you need a friend.”

You can trust what your friend says, even when it hurts.
Proverbs 27:6 (ERV)

Sue’s Note: While I thought I’d already completed this series, today’s post will be the final in a series I entitled, ‘Grace Speaks…’ I hope they’ve blessed you and encouraged you to consider God’s grace in every aspect of your life.

     A little over a year ago, I reconnected with three high school classmates. It’s been a joy getting to know the now mature, lovely women.

      I’ve admired most about them is the enduring nature of their friendship. Forged as adolescent teenagers, the three remain “besties” more than 50 years later. They enjoy lighthearted moments. They celebrate one another’s gifts and accomplishments. They have encouraged one another personally and professionally and have been there in seasons of deep sadness and bitter disappointment.

     A bond of reliance has developed among these women. I imagine even when one says something that may sting a bit, because of the foundation of trust that has been laid, the women are willing to listen and consider one another’s counsel.

     In a recent Ann Voskamp blog[1], I read a guest post from Alli Worthington, who suggested we find a “Battle Buddy,” explaining, “A battle buddy is someone who supports you and looks out for you in and out of battle.”

     She asks, “Don’t we all need a couple of great battle buddies on our journey with us?” and illustrates with a well-known proverb:

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17) Just as a blacksmith will use metal on metal to form it for its intended purpose, God will use certain people in our lives to sharpen and mold us into who he is making us to be.”

     Alli concludes with some excellent advice: “Identify your battle buddies who…are there for you when life looks more like a battlefield than we’d like.”

     I believe God wired humans for relationship, and therefore, cares about our friendships. I recall three distinct times when I felt deep desire for friendship and asked God to give me a friend. Each time, my prayer was answered. There’s something extra special about the gracious gift of a friendship you know God chose especially for you.

     Do you need a friend? I believe there’s at least one person reading this post who’s nodding her head, perhaps with stinging tears ready to trickle down her cheeks. For you I pray:

Dear God,

I know I can only write words. You know the heart of each person reading those words. You know how each is feeling and what special need exists. I pray you will satisfy the longing and lead this reader to a special friend who is understanding, trustworthy and loving—even as you are.

Thank you, Lord, for your never-ending friendship!

Amen

Blessings on your journey, my friend…

Sue Reeve

  1. Ann Voskamp annvoskamp@aholyexperience.com

Barefoot by the Sea…

     Ron and I returned a week ago from a wonderful vacation. We started with two days in Washington, D.C. From there, we visited historical sites in Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Harpers Ferry, Virginia. Ron came along willingly as I met with friends from my recent and distant past and built new friendships with folks connected to my ancestry.

     I could probably call any day of this memorable getaway my favorite. The most restorative, however, was one we spent on the North Carolina Outer Banks. Our day began—naturally, after first stopping for coffee—with a long morning stroll along the beach at Nags Head.

     Walking barefoot in the sand—picking up seashells, listening to the rhythmic music of waves lapping onto the seashore, warm sand squishing between my toes—ahhh, that nurtures my soul!

     These words came to me during our morning walk and encapsulate my feelings:

     I believe the voice of the divine, which I so often reference in my posts, implanted thoughts during our vacation about a couple potential blog topics. I plan to write one more post, concluding the “Grace Speaks…” series. Then, I believe I’ll explore thoughts concerning the topics of “Connections…” and “Wrestling…”

     As always, I’ll be praying for you, asking God to use my words to encourage and bless your journey, pointing always to a never-changing God in our ever-changing worlds…

Sue Reeve