Struggle is a holy word

01 Sep

Last week Carol and I were in Boston helping our youngest daughter, Caitlin, get settled into the dorms at Gordon College. During one of the sessions for parents, Dr. Judson & Mrs. Jan Carlberg shared some words of encouragement. Jan Carlberg used the phrase, “Struggle is a holy word.”

As parents, our desire is to smooth out the path for our children. We want to shield them from pain. When a child calls home to say they are not getting along with their college roommate, we want to storm the administration to demand a change. When that same child says they are unhappy after the first week of school and wonder if they made the right decision to go away to college, we want to jump in the car or on a plane and bring them home forthwith.

Yet, when we do that, we often stunt our children’s growth because we don’t allow them to struggle.

Jan reminded us that God uses trials as a catalyst to help us grow. As James 1:2-4 says in The Message, “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work, so that you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”

Struggle is part of God’s strategy to help us and our children grow to maturity. Struggle is a holy word.

1 Comment

Posted by on September 1, 2008 in Gordon College, Personal growth, Quotes


One response to “Struggle is a holy word

  1. Tracy Crowe

    September 2, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    I certainly agree that it is very true that we have to encounter challenges and difficulties, and learn how to work through them by ourselves if we are to grow as a person. The only time we are growing is when we are out of our comfort zone. I guess growth is really learning to not let fear get the better of you. I am not sure that struggling is perhaps the best way to deal with those challenges though. I keep hearing over and over that struggle is a bad word, just as try is (as Yoda says, “Do or do not. There is no try).


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