On my ride to work this morning, the song “Different” by Tasha Page-Lockhart was playing and she said, “You can see it, I’m different in my walk. Others see it, in how I talk. I can see it in how I pray, I start to shed some tears each word I say. See I’m different. They tell me, I’m different.” Listening to those words, the Holy Spirit said to me, the difference is moving from struggle to sacrifice. And as I thought about that, it begin to resonate within me. See, one definition says struggle is to have difficulty handling or coping with and sacrifice is an act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy. Let me break this down in order for you to shout.
In my struggle, I found it difficult to make ends me. In my sacrifice, my ends have met with the same money I had in my struggle.
In my struggle, my prayers were empty promises I kept making to God knowing full well I probably wouldn’t keep them. In my sacrifice, my prayers changed to use me Lord and I’ll go and I meant it.
In my struggle, I was going to church. In my sacrifice, the church is in me.
In my struggle, I cussed folk out. In my sacrifice, I pray for and still love them.
In my struggle, I did some stuff I’m not proud of. In my sacrifice, I forgave myself for those same things.
In my struggle, I answered to my past. In my sacrifice, my name changed to favor.
In my struggle, I used God. In my sacrifice God uses me.
So you see, your struggle isn’t meant to harm you but it’s preparing you. The things I thought I needed in my struggle proved to be an obstacle in my sacrifice. The things I thought I couldn’t live without in my struggle were the very things I willing gave up in my sacrifice. This is why you cannot discount your struggle, no matter how hard it is or how much it hurts. Come here Abraham. Your struggle, beloved, is the very thing strengthening your trust in God to be able to take the thing you love (Isaac) to a mountain with wood, rope and a knife as your sacrifice when He tells you too believing He will show up with a ram in the bush!