Flourishing. It may seem like a word that would only be used to describe someone else. Whether you feel weighed down by never-ending tasks, or find yourself walking through your most difficult days, discover that fighting and flourishing are meant to blend together. God can help you make the most out of your struggle, because a flourishing life in every season is worth fighting for.
Jennie shares the tragic story of her darkest moment, when she lost her five-year-old daughter Lenya. She realized that Jesus doesn't promise to overcome our troubles; He tells us He has overcome the world. We want Him to take away the trial, but He's taking care of the even bigger picture: the trouble our world is in. You may feel as though you're not flourishing because of the struggle. But it's the embracing of the struggle ("fight the good fight of the faith," 1 Timothy 6:12) that will create the space to flourish.
It's much easier to stay planted in our comfort zone and coast than to cultivate, with intention, the gardens of our inner lives. If we want to experience spiritual growth, we must focus less on the bloom and more on what's happening inside us where we are planted. Maybe we find ourselves going through the motions of being a Christian, but in order to really flourish, we need to stop being passive and start practicing spiritual practices.
This lesson looks at the age-old questions, "Why do terrible people who do terrible things exist? Why must we do life with wretched diseases and worldwide pandemics?" We will learn we can find good in the difficulty, beauty in the struggle. Even hard things have the power to help us flourish because the fighting and the flourishing are meant to blend together. We can only experience such beauty when we immerse ourselves in the present, in whatever moment we find ourselves.
In this fight to flourish, we discover our inherent need to build and nurture relationships. But it's no big secret relationships can be difficult. And when we're going through a trying season, it can be tempting to shut down and isolate. But living beautifully means connecting with others in positive and meaningful ways, not just on the surface, but rooted in depth, offering transparency and being genuine in our spirits.
Having a fresh soul requires a shake-up. Sometimes God does this for us, such as in a season when he feels distant, or when life seems to fall apart before our eyes, or when He moves us in a new direction--somewhere we would never have expected or planned. At other times, we need to shake up our own lives, perhaps by finding a new lens with which to view life, or evicting, for good, unhealthy habits that may not be helpful to our spiritual lives.
Do you get excited about waiting? Of course not. This is especially true as we are waiting for God to show up in a challenging situation. Wherever God has called you to, there will be waiting of some kind. It's part of the process of flourishing. Psalm 32:24 offers great advice: "So cheer up! Take courage. Wait for him to break through for you."