Day 34 – OUR STRUGGLES CONNECT US
Today’s thought is shared by Don Hutson…
“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. (1 Peter 4:12)
In 1994 I facilitated a teambuilding session for a group of storeroom workers at a paper mill in Sartell, MN. They were not a cohesive unit. They didn’t know how to fully appreciate one another. I noticed the most senior member of the team was a habitual critic of the leader & others on the team – contributing to the broken teamwork. I needed them to deepen their connection to one another, so I asked them, “Tell me about a time in your life when you learned the most about yourself.” I was NOT fully prepared for what would happen next. One by one they shed their emotional layers to share honestly about the most trying times in their lives. One shared about her fight against breast cancer, another shared about the time he learned his brother had been killed in Vietnam, another shared about a time of extreme financial difficulty caused by his own failures. The stories went on & on until all ten of them had opened up to one another. The air was full of respect & admiration for the way each had endured & overcome their personal challenges. The team was never the same after that meeting – mindsets were changed, appreciation was gained, & they were transformed in the way they related to one another. It’s hard to dismiss or disrespect someone else when you understand their story. What is your story of transformation? No two stories are the same, but they all have common elements – struggle, disappointment, extreme challenges. God teaches us tremendous lessons in moments of great struggle. We can’t go through life by ourselves. It is too hard. We need each other. We need God. When we think we can’t take another step, we are forced to lean on Him. When we lean on God, we touch Him. When we touch him, we feel him touching us back. When he touches us, we experience transformation in our lives. This is why God tests us. He wants us to experience transformation. He wants us to depend on him. He wants to free us from ourselves & experience a better life that he is building within us. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” NKJV.
God, we know that transformation comes from you. We know you love us and want us depend on you completely. We will never be more powerful than when we do. Please continue to work on us, in us, and through us so we will be transformed to be even more useful in your kingdom. We are your workmanship and we long to do the works you have laid out for us since the beginning of time.