Monday, November 11, 2019

The Struggle

I struggle.  I am besieged. I make mistakes.  I suffer with being human.

Every person comes into real and existential struggle.  Crisis emerges.  Trauma besieges us.  Being human - dealing with myself and others - is often taxing, in the least, devastating, in the worst.  

God wants to ease our struggle (as our champion) or for us embrace our struggle (necessary as Christ-following humans).   Yet, we often don't know what to do with our struggle because struggle is usually wrapped in shame.  

Shame can keep us from solution, from hope and from God.  In our struggle, when shame takes over, we pretend that the bad parts aren't that bad, or  maybe aren't even real.   Shame causes us to be paralyzed, because we can't see the possibility of hope.  Shame causes us to turn inward and fold out of a need to create a safe space for ourselves, helpless because no one is there to help us and we cannot ask for help because of shame.  

Some of our greatest cultural failures are exacerbated because of this.  When someone is physically assaulted, where does one access trauma recovery?  What is a real path out of poverty?  Who will mentor me out of it?  Where are those great resources for domestic workers, immigrants, women seeking greater pay equity, sex trafficking victims, abuse victims?

Our personal narratives must rise up, the voices must be heard so others can hear the story and be comforted in the fact that they are not alone.  When the struggle is voiced, we an remove shame from the struggle.  When we hear victory stories, we can see that nothing is permanent.  We may need to hear a different ending for victory where people find peace, community and their God in the struggle.

Yes, God offers a solution even when the situation does not improve.  "Go to the God of all comfort.." Paul tells the Corinthians.  Let Him be enough for you.  Let gaining awareness of His presence be the first step.   Give in to the one who knows the way out.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.  For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 

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