Hawkeye Seventh-day Adventist® Church

The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? Ps 27:1

Struggles… and More Struggles


This year has seemed to be a year with endless struggles to cope and survive for many. 

Some days the struggles are very real. Somedays the struggles are of our own foolishness. Sometimes we just observe the struggles of others and think how foolish they are. Of course, I would never allow myself to get caught up in such foolishness. And yet--I am sure that at times they feel the same way about me. One of my struggles has been to allow myself to get older, gracefully. I used to wonder why it was so difficult for some people--now I understand. One of my recent struggles has been to walk with pain. It seems to be a fact of life right now. And this week I increased the struggle. Somehow, I failed to get through the kitchen door properly while carrying a chunk of wood for the wood stove. If I had managed it properly, I would not have tripped, fallen, dropped the chunk on my foot, would not have hit the table, would not have shoved several things and sent them flying, and most of all, I would not have landed on my knee on the same side that I was already painfully struggling to walk. In the aftermath of something that happened too quickly, I sat on the floor--home alone--and, well, I just sat there! Sat for several minutes wondering if someone would come in and find me still sitting on the floor in the narrow space between the table and the cupboard. I realized that to get up, I would have to turn and kneel on the knee that was now in pain and put pressure on it and attempt to push myself up. It all seemed more than possible to do. But after many minutes of contemplation, I decided nothing attempted, nothing gained. Yes, it was a struggle--but, yes, I am no longer sitting on the floor! Don't you just feel that the struggle is wasted effort when no one is around to lend help and sympathy?  That is how I sometimes feel.


The good news is that we are not left "home alone" in our daily struggles. When we fail and fall in our daily efforts and struggles, we are promised that angels will be sent along with the Holy Spirit to help us back up to continue on without delay. We don't have to sit and wait and wonder if someone will come along to help us get back up. They are ready and waiting to be called upon for help.


I also had another struggle this week that may make many wonder about my childish reluctance to try new things.


Several years ago, I inherited a roll of saran wrap! Now, I grew up in a home that did not use saran wrap. Hard to believe isn't it? But money was scarce enough back then that it was considered an unnecessary item. Along with that information, saran wrap is as old as I am and a fairly new product back when I was growing up. So, not only was it a new and uncommon item for others, it was very, very uncommon for us. Since then, I have been slow to remember to use it in my own home. The roll I inherited did not make me want to use it very often. It refused to cling to anything except maybe itself. It did not tear off the roll very properly and almost always made me sorry that I had even tried once again to make it do what it was supposed to do. I have watched others use similar products with ease and they always got cooperation with their choice of product to use. I have watched TV ads that make "cling" wraps a handy and useful item. I have been very skeptical that they would work for me! In disgust one day after once again being frustrated with my own inherited roll, I made some comments (expressing my disgust I am afraid). Not so many days later, a new box appeared on my table with a guarantee that I could "press and seal." Definitely a new product to me. Untried and Untested in my kitchen.


This week, I thought I needed some saran wrap and then remembered my new untried box! I needed it early in the morning and had turned on the cupboard lights but not the overhead light. My night eyes work pretty good and this was more than enough light for me to see what I was doing--except....   I took the box, opened it up with a bit of difficulty, tried very hard to find the open edge of the wrap, with even more difficulty, struggled unsuccessfully with the whole process and was to the point of yielding to my urge to have a 2-year-old fit!  I finally gave up and turned on the overhead light to examine what could possibly be wrong with this item that I wasn't sure I even wanted to use. Then--I could read the directions of how to use it! I found out several things that I should have known before I attempted to use it. One of which told me to not squeeze the roll, which I had already done. Another announced a new and improved cutter bar. I certainly hadn't experienced that in all my previous attempts.


Eventually I was able to have a piece of wrap that was useful to me. And it did fill its duty of sealing when I pressed it. However, it is not the promised miracle that I was expecting and hoping for. Perhaps it is just me and my bad expectations, an omen for the future.  At any rate, when we have problems during each day and week and month, we need some light to make things go better. God has sent us some light for our path each day. We don't need to turn on a switch. Instead we need to open up the light we have been given and use it. The light of His Word gives directions that we need to accomplish on the path of each day. Following the given directions will definitely make life easier and keep us from frustration; keep us from going down the wrong path; keep us from having to turn around and follow the right directions and be successful.


Don't needlessly struggle--turn on the Light and do it right the first time!! It will save you time for better things. Begin this New Year right--don't struggle! Let God take care of the struggle for you! One more thing--God does test me, and you! We have to pass the tests he gives us, but He helps us pass. He helps us every day as we try to do what He requires. We will be tried and tested in order to be ready for Heavenly citizenship.

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