Life is filled with enough difficulties that come from this world that there is no need to conjure up an unpleasant test in order to have a testimony. I am not sure where the notion came from that a person has to have been beat up by life in order to be a convincing witness for Christ. It causes me to wonder, when we choose to struggle, to take a path that we know is not ordained by God, to ride on the crooked road as opposed to the straight one, are we challenging ourselves or are we testing God so that we can testify?
I do not know anyone’s story but my own. I know that God blessed me to grow up with married, saved, God-fearing parents who took me to church. They loved and supported my siblings and me in every endeavor we attempted. We grew up in beautiful homes in great neighborhoods. We never lacked anything we needed. We attended great schools that had plenty of books and excellent academic, arts and athletic programs. I was blessed with an ability to do very well in school without trying very hard. I was awarded scholarships to school. My life was almost perfect (and I only say almost because nothing is perfect this side of Heaven). I am not saying this to be boastful; all of these things were blessings from God that I know He did not have to give me. There was little to no struggle in my life and I praise God for that. But then in my late teens, I thought I was grown and I started making decisions that made my life harder than it ever had to be. I broke my vow of abstinence until marriage, I chose a college far from home, and then I chose to leave that college for all of the wrong reasons. God had rolled out the red carpet to my destiny, but I chose to struggle.
I realize that some people do not struggle by choice. Some people are born into situations that are not ideal. Some people face crises with health and finances that they did not cause. That is not choosing to struggle. I do not claim to know why these struggles happen and how God chooses who faces certain challenges. I do know that there are tests of faith in the situations that are not of our choosing that can lead us into the greatness that God has for us.
Let me put this in perspective, with the life of King David. Some struggles David faced were because God wanted to use David for His glory like facing off with Goliath and being chased by Saul. But, there are other struggles that David faced because he put himself in a bad situation like losing a child because of his dalliance with Bathsheba or be chased by Absalom because he had lost control of his children. When I say choosing to struggle, I am speaking of the latter challenges. Was David restored? Absolutely! God still loved David just like He still loves you and me when we make stupid decisions.
I believe God when He says that there is nothing too hard for Him (Genesis 18:14). I also know that in context, that statement was made when God was speaking to Sarah about delivering her from barrenness, which was a struggle that she did not choose. We do not have to make life harder for ourselves to make our testimony believable. The most important part of the testimony is that God loves us enough that He gave His Son to die for us. That is true no matter what your life’s story happens to be. God can deliver you if you choose to struggle, but do you really want to live a life that is harder than what He has planned out for you? Ms. EV