Tough Battles, Needy Soldiers

God gives the toughest battles to the strongest soldiers.

People said this to me a lot after my stroke. I know they were trying to cheer me up. And I’m not dissing the encouragement or the love. Honest. I know they meant well, but.. I can’t really say I wholly agree with the thought.

Battles come to everyone in this life. God allowed the stroke to me cuz God allowed the stroke to me. Not because I was stronger than anyone else, and so could handle it better than a person with less faith.

There’s lots of people who have strokes who don’t have any faith at all, and still have to walk through it. There’s lots of people who have much worse strokes than I did; folks who’re still semi-paralyzed after years. There’s even young moms who had a stroke right after they had a baby. Could any of them handle it better than others??

People look at me, think me spiritually mature, and say, ‘I’d never be able to handle a stroke like you did.’ Yet, if truth be told, I haven’t handled it any better than the next person. You simply do what you gotta do. As Os Chambers says, “There is no use in saying you cannot go–the experience is here, and you must go.”

Battles come to everyone in this life. Even tough ones. And all our battles are just beyond what we think we can handle. By their very design they stretch us…whatever they may be….

…The death of a loved one. Cancer. Heart attack. The boss who hates your guts. Stroke. Endometriosis. Tornadoes. The family member who hurts you. Bedbugs. Financial tightness. Car troubles. Anything. Every difficult thing is always just beyond what we think we can handle.

Trials are good in that they show us what we’re capable of enduring; making it through difficulties and hardships we never dreamed we could handle. However, no one goes through any tragedy gracefully. It may look like it from the outside, but on the inside it’s always a different story. And while hardship can show us some positive things about ourselves, that’s only after the negative things in us have surfaced.

Trials expose who we’re not, so we can become who we’re meant to be.

For the believer, who we’re meant to be is like Christ. Romans 8:29. Jesus himself learned through suffering and trials. Hebrews 5:8. And as he is, so are we in the world. 1 John 4:17.

You know, you can be young or old, mature or immature, and have a stroke or some other tragedy and I guarantee you, you won’t feel like a “strong soldier” with enough faith to meet it. But there it is. You’ll have to face it.

And at whatever point you turn to look at God in it, he will meet you there. No matter how major or minor the battle is. Really, you don’t need a GIANT faith to get through a tough time. You just need a small, sincere, surrendered LOOK in his direction. Only a tiny seed’s worth. Luke 17:6.

See, with God, it’s not so much about being tough and strong to get through our battles. It’s more about seeing ourself for what we really are and being willing to own that we’re broke and needy. It’s in that place Jesus meets the strongest soldiers. ?

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