When the questions are hard…
Cainspirations by Kristi Cain, originally published July 23, 2022
How are you overcoming the struggle to find answers in your life? Let’s journey together!
|As July wanes into August, thoughts of education are waxing into focus for many families. The anticipation of preschool, primary, secondary, and college classes for the cherished future we seek to bestow upon our children.|
As a third-generation educator, you would be hard-pressed to dissuade me from my enthusiasm for academic pursuits.
But in this season of sending children off in search of knowledge, perhaps the more valuable question is should we also send them—and ourselves—in search of wisdom?
The higher source of guidance that will last longer than a single school year, age, or season of life.
While important challenges face children during their formative years of schooling, the real struggle will hit after the stage is empty and reality sets in.
While education provides many tools that allow us to thrive, life can lead us into valleys where it takes everything we have to simply survive.
More than any scholarly text or self-help course you will find, the Bible speaks to this tension with astonishing insight.
Jesus illustrated the duality perfectly when he said, “the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” (Mat 11:12)
If you could set a single, penultimate standard for what thriving looks like, nothing could trump the concept of heaven – God’s eternal paradise with a majesty beyond our mortal comprehension.
Yet, all is not perfect in this realm that defines perfection.
It suffers violence. It is threatened by powerful forces seeking to seize and destroy it.
Heaven is at war.
Our best hope of thriving is in the fight of its life for survival.
And I believe the King of heaven spoke these words to remind us that earthly life will likewise require us to both thrive and survive.
But how do you do both well? It can feel like a Catch-22, where the pull of opposing forces can crush any hope of prevailing on either front.
And to any human being, a failure to survive is the worst failure to experience. But to those who hope in Christ, a failure to secure the promise of salvation is a far worse fate.
As both a human and a Christian I understand how it feels to have both sources of pressure wear you down.
But since none of the struggles I have faced have left me without physical life or the hope of spiritual resurrection, I have also discovered seeds of wisdom birthed in various beds of pain I have lain in.
And the secret to the riddle of simultaneously surviving and thriving is surprisingly simple.
And by thrive, I don’t mean indulging in five-course banquets with society’s most illustrious elite.
It means to harken to the voice of true wisdom as your guide. The Word of God. The faithful leaders, prophets, and apostles. Your Savior.
And the work of the Holy Spirit who will reveal his will and truth through your diligent practices of prayer and intercession.
Maybe your survival needs seem so far away from God you think you’re beyond his reach.
But true thriving also means having the discernment to look past the discouraging lies of the enemy that invade our hearts and our minds before they are ever evident in our outward circumstances.
To understand that we are called, we are chosen, and we are claimed as the children of a God who loves us and has the power to work any situation for our good.
It means believing that any problem we take to Him can lead to a remedy, even if it’s not the one we wanted.
It means letting go of worldly definitions of success and failure which are too often traps set by the fallen prince who lurks like a lion at every door.
It means standing upon the faith that no matter what forces come against you, nothing can take away your identity as an heir to the kingdom that will emerge victorious from battle.
It means understanding that no matter how dark things get, every step we take in Him will draw us closer to the light that is sure to come.
No matter how long it takes. No matter what we have to endure before we get there.
No matter how wrong the world tells us we are for doing so.
Because our king promises wisdom’s children will justify her. (Mat 11:19)
And that is the best lesson our children can ever learn.
|Want to know your divine calling? Find out with my “Discover Your Destiny” Quiz!|
Don’t make me do all the talking – I’d love to hear from you!
- What does the path to wisdom look like for you?
- What do you think about surviving and thriving in your faith journey?
- Do you want to hear about anything else? Any prayer requests?
Just shoot me an email – don’t be shy! And I promise to reply!
BEAUTY IN TODAY
Check out these awesome photos from readers like you!
PHOTO CREDITS (top to bottom, left to right): “Hawaiian Hibiscus” by Greg Guzman; “Lake Delta and the Tetons” by Laurie McGrath; “Cameron Falls, Alberta” by Barbie Crowder; and “Tuscany Vineyard” by Jan Walter.
Want to share your “Beauty in Today” picture or inspirational musings? Shoot me an email and you just might be featured in my next issue!
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Thanks for visiting with us today! I hope I’ve helped you feel encouraged! – Kristi
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Work looks a lot like play for Kristi Cain and includes freelance writing for Crosswalk, inspirational blogging, writing fantastical stories of Christian fiction, teaching English to teens, and being able to say, “I’m a former journalist.” Home is nestled in the Smoky Mountain foothills with her husband and teenage children. If you ever want a little encouragement in your day, check out her newsletter. Hop over to her website for her latest happenings and join her Facebook group, a fun, faith-based community.
Cain’s life experiences and faith journey have lent her the lens through which she shapes stories of unlocking the light of destiny out of darkness. Through her writing, she hopes to encourage people to understand that the difficult places in life can be the very ingredients that shape the greatest destinies.
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