Recently, I have been struggling with feeling useless. It is no surprise to anyone that I strive to be productive, to help, to do things, to engage, to participate… however you want to describe it. I like to be an active participant in life.
So, this period of life has made me feel trapped and useless. I feel as though I am stuck in quicksand or tar, and totally helpless and at the mercy of others…. However, realistically this is a great place for me to be, and exactly right. Learning to accept help from those around me is a fantastic thing to learn because I am pretty bad at it naturally.
In this season, I cannot help myself, I cannot work my way out of the situation, and sadly, I cannot even really help others the way I desire to, which just frustrates me… So, I have been struggling with feeling useless.
God has a purpose for me, I am sure of this, but is this period of me unable to do anything truly a part of this purpose?
I mean, being a follower of Christ mixed with my unique blend of characteristics and personality, it is no surprise that I desire to be doing and helping others, but because of my inability, I feel incredibly limited and frustrated. All of the feelings have caused me to spend a great deal of time praying and asking God to show me what He is doing. Help me learn, and see things correctly… But, probably most of all, I want to have the attitude I need throughout everything.
I have found myself having to purposefully not do things (like read my bible) in order to temper my desire to utilize “works” to get myself out of this season faster. Because, as much as I want this period of my life to be over yesterday, I do not want at all to come out on the other side of this and feel as though I did it, I succeeded, or I was the one who fixed my situation. I want the correct perspective on the other side, and a real, authentic understanding of what happened during this time period, not a cliché answer.
I have spent a great deal of time thinking, debating, and praying during all of this stuff going on in my life… And, unfortunately on more than one occasion, I have found myself thinking, “I should read my Bible, because this season will surely get over sooner if I do..” And, instantly I am reminded that BY GRACE ALONE I am saved, not by how much I do or pray or read the Bible.
However, the other day, I felt the familiar “Today is a great night to read my Bible for a while..” So, I looked at my chart of the books and chapters I have yet to read in order to complete one of my goals for the year, and I landed on 2 Peter.
“Now for this very reason also,
applying all diligence,
in your faith supply moral excellence,
and in your moral excellence, knowledge,
and in your knowledge, self-control,
and in your self-control, perseverance,
and in your perseverance, godliness,
and in your godliness, brotherly kindness,
and in your brotherly kindness, love.
For if these qualities are yours and are increasing,
they render you neither useless nor unfruitful
in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 2 Peter 1:5-8
Which, then reminded me of Romans 5:
“Therefore, having been justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith
into this grace in which we stand;
and we exult in hope of the glory of God.
And not only this,
but we also exult in our tribulations,
knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;
and perseverance, proven character;
and proven character, hope;
and hope does not disappoint,
because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” – Romans 5:1-6
Ok, so two separate sections of scripture reference the process of growing and learning throughout struggles.
Which means, I am neither useless or unfruitful.
It is in my helplessness that Christ died.
Struggles and bad times ultimately bring hope and cultivate love.