Struggles and Successes

For the last couple of days, we have been talking about life as a race that we run. There will be times of great success in our life that we should celebrate together. We tend to celebrate new things like a new transition for a graduation, moving to a new place, or getting a new job. We celebrate a new year of life on our birthdays, and new relationships status when we marry. There are holy moments in our life that mark great success as well. We experience God’s presence on a retreat or mission trip in a special well. We lead a ministry effort or serve others in a way that bears a lot of fruit. Experiencing God’s presence in worship in a profound way on any given Sunday feels like a successful experience too.

Yet, there are times of great struggle in our life. We will undoubtedly have our share of health issues and lost loved ones throughout our lifetimes. We will have setbacks at school and at work. We will mistreat people when we are angry, anxious, or in the midst of conflict. We will have struggles in our relationships even among best of marriages, families, and friends. We even struggle through the impacts of pandemics, rapid inflation, and nations at war on a global level. There are even times in our relationship with God that we struggle to feel God’s presence in our lives. We struggle to read the Bible or pray or even gather with others for worship.

Our successes and struggles tend to be very temporary conditions. They ebb and flow like the waves of the ocean. What we need more than anything is a close community of people to celebrate our successes and to support us through our struggles. We need to build trust with a few people to share all our successes and struggles so we can learn from each other and grow closer to Jesus.

When I meet with my discipleship band each week, the second question we ask each other is what are your struggles and successes? I love sharing about my successes and experiencing the affirmation from the Holy Spirit for doing well. I love hearing about the of the successes of my brothers to inspire me to dream even bigger. Sharing about my struggles is less fun, but I experience so much support and comfort when I share. When others trust me enough to share their struggles, I realize that everybody struggles with something and we can lean on each other in the hardest of times.

Banded discipleship might be the best thing you can do this Lent. Who are two or three other people who could invite to band together with you?

In His Grip,
Mike Toluba

No Comments