Struggle and Love - Week of November 15th

By Judy Nichols

November 15, 2015

My three-year-old granddaughter’s life has been one of struggle. As an infant, she struggled to breathe; she struggled with eating because of reflux disease. She struggled with repeated eye infections and had to have her tear ducts surgically opened. She struggled with low muscle tone and still struggles with learning to speak. Every skill she has mastered, every milestone she has achieved has come at the cost of great struggle.

But she doesn’t "know" – the way we who have observed her know – that life has been a struggle. Struggle is all she’s ever known; it’s normal life to her.

What she does know is that she is loved, so very loved! It’s not just her family – parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles – who love her. Everyone who knows her loves her, positively adores her. She is one of the sweetest children on the planet. Her life of struggle has not affected her outlook on life at all. She approaches life with joy, accepting whatever amount of effort required as perfectly normal. If she knows she is different from other children her age, she gives no evidence of it.

Such is the power of love.

Love is the most transforming power in the universe. "Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends" (1 Cor. 13:7-8). Our family bears with her failures, believes in her potential, hopes for God’s glory to be revealed in and through her, and endures the struggles with her. Our love will never end. And she has been bathed in this love from the moment of her birth. It has made her who she is. The struggles of her life are secondary.

Scripture says, "God is love" (1 John 4:16). So we may rightly conclude that if God loves us (and we know He does – John 3:16), then He bears with our failures, believes in our potential, hopes to be glorified in and by us, and in sending His Son Jesus Christ into the world to live fully as a human, in truth endures our struggles with us. His love will never end. And we have been bathed in it from the moment of rebirth. If we let it, it will transform us into the people God created us to be. Our struggles, too, are secondary.

The struggles we have faced, now face, and will yet face are, indeed, "momentary, light affliction . . . producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison" (2 Cor 4:17) compared to God’s great love for us. Our call is to "look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen, for the things which are seen are temporal but the things which are not seen are eternal" (2 Cor. 4:18). The struggles of this life are temporal; God’s love is eternal. God’s love is big; this world’s troubles are small. May we keep our eyes fixed on God’s great love and let it make us all we are meant to be.

© Judy Nichols 2015

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