10-19-15 10:00 AM EST: Do you ever think sometimes that crap seems to never end? It seems to pile on too.
The US Navy SEALS have a saying, “The only easy day was yesterday.”
During one of the stages of SEAL training, they put the guys through what’s called “Hell Week.” They’re basically awake for the whole week as they are constantly on the move, constantly wet and dirty, constantly cold and in pain. It’s the most rigorous, intense and agonizing week in all their training, but for those who get through it- the experience is priceless, matchless, and worth everything they went through. Those who make it receive the coveted title of US Navy SEAL.
We might not be SEALS, but we all have our yesterdays, and no matter how painful, agonizing, lonely, tough…it was yesterday - and we made it through. Yes our present days and tomorrows will most likely be much the same, but thinking that yesterday was the only easy day, we know that we have gotten through it; we’ll get through them again.
Some things we can’t control, but a lot of things we go through, are results of choices we make. Much like the guys who go through Hell Week, they know it’s coming, but choose to go through it because they want what’s on the other side. Whether things work out during the hellacious times or not, we all want something out of life and we’re willing to take the chances to gain it.
Those things we can’t control are the toughest things because so much pain comes from unexpected events and it seems like nothing makes sense. It’s those times we wonder why, and wonder where God is, or whether He cares.
It’s not always easy to go through life’s hell week without encouragement and help. We don’t always have “buddies” or folks cheering us on or pushing us to keep going, and the easiest thing in the world would be to give up. I can’t tell you how many times in my life I’ve wanted just to give up. Face down in the mud, bruised and battered, cold and alone is not a place where I ever chose to be, but I’m still here. I’m not always sure why - but it helps me to learn that I have more “stuff” in me than I ever thought. Even if I cry, whine; scream through it, I’m still here fighting. And so are you.
Being bloody, bruised and alone isn’t very pretty and in our world where pettiness, selfishness and self-centeredness is promoted, it’s not something we want others to see, especially when we know others are going through their own battles. But there is One who sees us in all our insecurities, all our dirty, bloody and pitiful lowest times and still loves us - and it’s Him Who cheers us on, giving us strength to carry on.
When things don’t make sense, God is still working even if we don’t see or understand. Sometimes when I’m going through a particularly hard time where nothing makes sense, I’ve been reminded that it’s meant for a season of resting, trusting and being quiet.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Psalm 23:1-3
Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord. Psalm 27:14
Friends have gone through some seriously tough things over the past few years; much of it just keeps piling on. It doesn't seem like anything goes right. I'm still struggling through such a place and I know others have been too.
Whether you’re going through your own Hell Week or not, the Lord provides ways for us to rest up and restores us spiritually and emotionally; if we let Him.
He is our Shepherd, and he uses his staff and rod to guide, to direct us onto the safe path. It might hurt sometimes, but we can't always see the dangerous road ahead that He’s guiding us through. If we learn to wait on Him, his rod will not be so heavy and we can come to appreciate that even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death - He is with us. His rod and staff will comfort us.
No matter the valley or the kind of Hell Week, let the Lord lead you through it, and know that you're never truly alone, even if He doesn't always feel so close.
Just like in SEAL training, He provides us a buddy. Recognize that you do have others encouraging you and cheering you through it too. Yes, we may end up leaving Hell Week only to find ourselves in a darker valley - but we can be assured that He will be there with us too, every step of the way.
Unlike SEALS and other warriors, most of us aren’t trained to deal with and help us through life’s battles. Whether you’ve lost a spouse, child, sibling…if you’re a newly single parent having to be both a mom and dad to your child, going through financial issues, school struggles, heart aches, illness, or still struggling from past experiences, we have the assurance that God provides, even if he uses our own pain to help others.
Each situation may be different, less or more difficult, but even then, we can say - Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4
We are not promised easy lives and even if many of us have had better days, there are always going to be struggles, trials and tribulations. If we learn to look to those who have gone through much worse, we can see how the Lord strengthened them…
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Romans 5:3-5
No matter your circumstances, your own Hell Week, please don’t think you have to go through them alone. Whether you believe or not, someone has gone through similar, and has made it. They have come through to the other side - stronger and victorious and encourage us to keep going.
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Hebrews 12:1-3
Hang in there. You’ve got more “stuff” than you think. Trust the One who has gone through and let Him guide you. You will get through and you will find that tough days build tough faith.
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