This graphic, with the words below, was shared a while ago by The Busy Mom.
This is the story of motherhood. The struggle is worth it! You are stronger than you know. Neh. 8:10
It caught my attention because I’ve been having my share of mothering struggles lately. We haven’t found our summer rhythm yet, and the kids are doing their best to tear each other apart despite my valiant attempts to eliminate rudeness. I’m not doing so great at sticking to my attitude plan either.
The reference, Nehemiah 8:10, was familiar, but I couldn’t recall the verse right away. I made a mental note to look it up during “quiet reading time.”
As soon as I read the verse, I knew why it was familiar. I often use that last part, the joy of the Lord is your strength to encourage myself when I’m getting weary.
“Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
What stuck out to me this time was a phrase that comes before that.
This day is holy to our Lord.
These words were spoken to the Isrealites when they heard God’s law and wept at their failure to keep it. Their leaders did not berate them for their foolishness. They encouraged them. They pointed them back to God. They told them to rejoice. To worship the forgiving God. Yes, He had allowed them to experience severe consequences for their sin. He had also faithfully prevented their utter destruction.
The same is true for me and you. On our worst days – even on our best ones – we experience natural consequences of our sinful choices. We also enjoy the merciful forgiveness of a faithful God. This, the way our heavenly Father graciously guides us through the daily struggles, is holy.
My “bad day” and the struggles it contains have been set apart by God for His purposes.
Your day, your struggles, they too are instruments of God.
The trials and temptations of your bad day aren’t getting in the way of God’s plans. They are part of His plan. The ornery children, broken appliances, and other messes of motherhood – yes, even my own waning patience and sharp tongue. God is using each one to accomplish more than you or I can currently see.
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son.”
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”
On days when the struggles are fierce and victory seems far, far away . . .
When the failures loom larger than successes . . .
Remember, even those days are holy to the Lord. Our trials are not meaningless. They have been lovingly designed to fulfill God’s work in our hearts.
Our struggle is part of the story He is writing in us. The story in which we become more like Him. In which our trials slowly burn off the impurities in our lives and leave behind a more Christ-like character.
What can you do at the end of a bad day?
“Come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of His hand.”
Stop wishing you could do it over.
PRAY! – Express your dependence on God. You need Him to make sense of your struggles, complete the work He is performing in you and carry you through ’til the end.
GIVE THANKS! – For who God is. For what He has done. For how He is working. For what He has promised.
Move forward with God’s approval.
“Blessed is a man who perserveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”
Shared at: Waiting on Wednesday, Women With Intention, Coffee & Conversation, Thoughtful Thursdays, Grace & Truth, Saturday Soirée, Art of Homemaking Monday, Nourishing Joy, Modest Monday and Tuesday Talk.