December 27, 2017
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2 (ESV)
All of us go through things that “break” us.
The break might be a small chip or crack, or more like something shattering into a million pieces. And then we struggle to glue the pieces back together. Some wounds are so deep only Christ can bring the healing and forgiveness we need to move on. But when we invite Him into our pain, He not only has the ability to heal us, He can also use us in extraordinary ways.
When someone asks about a hard time in our lives, most of us take a second and go back to that moment. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable, and other times it can be absolutely heartbreaking. A lot of us don’t want to go there, so it can be hard to let others peer into that part of our lives. Even when you’re just getting started in life — like I am. What we often don’t recognize, though, is the beauty in the midst of our trials.
How can there be beauty in the struggle?
In our key verse, the Lord reminds Isaiah “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you” (Isaiah 43:2).
No matter what has happened in our lives, we can be comforted that God is there. When reading this verse, I imagine walking through the roughest times in my life but feeling the most amazing peace and comfort. I think that’s what God wants us to be reminded of. This world is full of hardship, but we can be comforted in knowing that He knows our hearts more than anyone, even ourselves. He hears our cries and wants us to run to Him.
In the hard times it can be difficult to see what good could come from our “mess,” so I want to share three ways God can shine beauty through our struggle.
We lean in. It’s in our desperation — the hardships, pain and trials we face — that we cling to God most tightly. When I was growing up in the church, I was always told, “listen to the still small voice” — meaning the voice of God. He wants us to lean in and listen. I remember that sticking with me. God is gentle with His children, and He never forces us to spend time with Him. Much like any relationship we have with our siblings, children or parents, our relationship with Him is a two-way street. He beckons us into His presence. And not just to list off all of our prayers for the day. He invites us to take a breath and say, “Dear God, You know my heart, and all I ask is for rest. I need Your comfort right now.”
We grow in wisdom. Growth is never comfortable. It stretches us in ways we may not enjoy, but it molds us into who God is making us. No matter how old we are, we all have opportunities to grow in wisdom. When I’m discouraged by the struggle, I remember the process is beautiful … because I’m learning how to be more like my heavenly Father.
We help ourselves help others. I used to think I was alone in many of my struggles. Once I became aware that others were in the same boat, my whole perspective changed. Our pain can be our platform to relate to anyone. Everyone longs to be understood. It feels good to have someone who’s been there and isn’t afraid to admit it. There is beauty in being vulnerable with your pain or struggle.
When looking at so many examples in Scripture, I cannot help but look at the whole picture of the Bible. It’s truly one beautiful story made up of many ordinary people like you and me. But the best part of all is that Jesus walked with those people in the midst of their struggles, which means He will for us, too! Whatever it may be. He’s there. He’s listening, and He wants to fight for us. All He asks for us to do is rest in Him.
Dear Jesus, give me the strength today to endure all that is in front of me. Help me believe You are with me in the highs and lows of life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
2 Corinthians 4:16, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” (ESV)
Chelsea Crockett’s book, Your Own Beautiful, helps readers dive deeper into what beauty really means. Her hope for this book is that readers find their true identity in Christ. Grab your copy here!
Visit Chelsea’s YouTube channel for advice, inspiration and fun in video form!
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What’s one thing today you can surrender to the Lord? Spend time today surrendering your heart.
© 2017 by Chelsea Crockett. All rights reserved.
Originally published Wednesday, 27 December 2017.