February 3, 2021
Devotions from Judy’s heart
Sometimes we make the mistake of thinking the Christian life should be one of ease and without struggles. But the desert saints who lived in the 4th and 5th century thought that struggle was necessary and normal for a healthy spiritual life. It’s not something we try to run away from but to embrace. Our goal should be intimacy with the Lord rather than a life of ease. Jesus said we must die to ourselves and take up our cross and follow Him and that is always a struggle. Jesus said in Matt. 16:24 (God’s Word, “Those who want to come with me must say no to the things they want, pick up their crosses and follow me.” This is something we need to do daily, and in many ways, moment by moment. When things are easy, we seem to let the world flood in on us and we become like the world. We read of the desert saints who chose that barren life in isolation and loneliness so that their spiritual growth would not be hindered by distractions and possessions. They wanted quiet and distance from the world, and felt comfort and wealth were enemies of the spiritual life. Many of the desert saints had a life of rhythm of work prayer and solitude. They prayed even as they worked. Of course, we don’t all have to live like the desert fathers but we can accept struggles in life as a means to help us humbly grow and be transformed more into His image. If we think back in time of when we grew the most and were dependent on the Lord, it would most likely be in times of struggles. The world we live in is fast paced and people are seldom satisfied and want more and to do more; many are in a constant state of busyness, and we miss what is really important which is what is going on in our hearts. And if problems come, we may feel we have to quickly get out of them rather than asking the Lord to teach us from them. My frustrations come with the computer and can send me for a loop. But I have to live with my computer if I am going to write devotions and send out e-mails so I can’t wiggle out of dealing with the issues that come up. As with any of our struggles we have Someone who we can go to, that will listen, calm our hearts, and bring change. We can ask Him what it is you are teaching me that I need to learn, and the Holy Spirit waits to help us. Let us be open, receptive and accept whatever means God chooses.
Challenge for today: Thank the Lord for the next struggle that comes, and seek to learn what God is teaching you.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy