Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.
Martin Luther King, Jr. in Stride Toward Freedom, 1957
“The Lord is merciful and compassionate, very patient, and full of faithful love. The Lord is good to everyone and everything; God’s compassion extends, to all his handiwork!”
When I first saw this week’s devotional theme, I did an internet search of the phrase “the struggle is real.” I learned that the saying refers to our “first world problems.” You know, those things we worry and stress over that 95% of the world doesn’t; like having to untangle your earbuds, dropping your phone in the lake, or that your bottle of soda has gone flat. Oh yes, the struggle is real.
Here’s the truth. We have struggles. We’re human. Struggles come with being human and no one is without them. Our job is to figure out what God does and doesn’t want us to struggle with. And when we rid ourselves of the stuff that isn’t worth the worry, we remember that God is merciful, patient, full of love, good to everyone, and compassionate.
This week, we’ll spend some time reflecting about those struggles in our lives that have meaning. As we think about them, remember this psalm and know that no matter what, the Lord is with you!
Good God, be patient with me as I seek to focus my eyes on you and your will for my life. And as you are patient and compassionate to me, help me be the same to others. Amen.
It's great to be able to stop
When you've planned a thing that's wrong,
And be able to do something else instead
And think this song:
I can stop when I want to
Can stop when I wish.
I can stop, stop, stop any time.
And what a good feeling to feel like this
And know that the feeling is really mine.
Know that there's something deep inside
That helps us become what we can.
from “What Do You Do With the Mad That You Feel?” by Fred M. Rogers, 1968