I remember times throughout my life when I faced things kicking and screaming. There were occasions I did not want to practice for my piano lessons. Doing chores growing up in a large family was often dreaded and deemed quite a drag. Being responsible for my younger siblings while my parents were out seemed unfair and like punishment – especially when no financial compensation was given me. Growing up I was inclined to dig in my heels and resist some of life’s events. However, now I see them as opportunities I was blessed to have experienced.
Not everyone is given the opportunity to take music lessons. However, having to practicing and learn piano and voice has opened up doors for me to enjoy music and participate in some exceptional performing groups. While cleaning bathrooms, doing dishes and sweeping floors is hardly glamorous, those chores did prepare me for running my own household as an adult. Watching my brothers and sister gave me a love and knowledge of children that exists even today in my career and ministry. My mother would be the first one to tell you how stubborn I was as a child. I would dig in my heels and insist on doing life the hard way at times as I grew.
Now as an adult, I realize that stubbornness has served me well in some ways. While I can still be slow in seeing what God has for me in life, it has provided me the fortitude and God-given strength to survive some difficult days. The key though, is to rely upon His direction in those hard times and being willing to stop digging in when lead to do so.
Walking through grief can cause us to wallow in sorrow and dig in our heels, refusing to embrace our new realities. Crying tears and allowing time to grieve is not only acceptable, but can be healthy. However, there will come a point in your journey when you need to stop digging in your heels wishing for things past. You need to move forward with the new life God has provided. If you fight too long and hard, you will surely miss the good opportunities He has for you.
God desires to give you good things. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17) God wants to bless you. The journey you are on now may not feel like a blessing. Trusting God with your sadness and hardship is vital though. He sees the whole picture of life while we easily get tunnel vision in our own little worlds.
When you find yourself ready to dig in your heels and resist what life is throwing at you, make a conscious effort to embrace it instead. Ask God what He has for you in the days ahead. There has been a picture recently on social media of Jesus standing before a young child holding a giant bear behind his back. The child is shaking her head refusing to let go of the tiny, worn bear she is holding in her hands, insisting she loves it and cannot live without it. In order to receive what Jesus desires to give, we must be willing to let go of our present situation in life.
If you must dig in your heels, do so with the determination to not give up on God. With Him, there is always hope for joy in your today as well as in your tomorrows.
Until next time –