Going through the struggle…

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Psalm 138: 3 On the day I called, you answered me, you increased my strength of soul.

This is a psalm of praise and thanksgiving for God’s faithfulness in times of trouble. This verse got my attention because of the way in which God responded to the call for help. It says, “you increased my strength of soul”. Interesting.

It doesn’t say that God removed the problem. It says God strengthened the writer on the inside, providing the resilience needed to move through the problem, not around it. I know most of the time when I pray to God about a problem I’d prefer God to simply fix it. But more often than not my experience reflects that of the writer.

I am father to three young adult children. One of the challenges of parenting in this season of life is allowing my adult kids to deal with problems on their own rather than doing it for them – as I did when they were younger. I have to let them handle things if they are to grow into capable adults in their own right – which is where I want them to be. But first I have to be willing to get out of the way.

I think perhaps God does something similar with us. God knows that the path to growth and resilience for his children is through the crucible, not around it. And so rather than decreasing our problems as we would prefer, I wonder if sometimes God increases our “strength of soul” instead. It’s an empowerment from the inside-out to get us through life’s tough challenges now and in the future.

Lord this morning I pray for all of us going through significant challenges in life. If it is your will to remove the obstacles in front of us, please do so. But if not, give us grace to grow on the inside that we might get through these hard times to a better place. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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