What Struggles are You Facing?

“When we are in the pits, we discover the roots of our faith.” – Tim Hansel

I sure enjoy the beautiful, award-winning photography of Idaho’s Tim Christie. He has a way of capturing the outdoors on film that truly honors and glorifies the Creator. Of course capturing these shots can be quite an adventure…sometimes more than he’s bargained for.

During one of his winter safaris in Glacier Park, Tim noticed a few whitetail deer casually feeding along the roadway. Grabbing his camera, Tim quietly slid out of his truck. The deer continued to feed into the woods with Tim in gentle pursuit, snapping pictures. Eventually, through his viewfinder, he noticed a deer suddenly startle. As the deer scampered off, Tim heard a branch snap in the woods behind him. He turned to see a large sow grizzly bear, making her way towards him.

Considering taking a picture of this bear, he suddenly became aware of two bear cubs to his right. The picture became very clear to him; this mama bear was in no mood for a casual photo shoot. She was doing what comes naturally to any mother, protecting her young.

Tim dropped his camera and ran to the nearest tree. As he began to climb the tree the bear came after him, popping its jaws and growling like a wounded hound. Tim and the bear kept climbing higher in the tree, when at last the bear grabbed his foot. The sharp teeth pierced the sole of Tim’s tennis shoe like a hot knife going through butter. The bear pulled and tugged at Tim’s foot with no regard to Tim’s shouts of warning. “It seemed like we were having a tug of war to see who would end up with my leg,” he recalled. Suddenly, the shoe released from his foot, and the bear dropped through the tree, hitting the ground with a thud.

Tim continued his climb as the mother bear growled and roared with disdain. After an angry fit, the bear rejoined her cubs and disappeared in the woods. Tim waited in the tree for two hours, climbed down, slipped on his sneaker, snatched up his camera and dashed back to the truck.

Whether we’re outdoorsmen or couch-potatoes, everyone faces trials in life. When troubles come our way, the Lord asks us to do two things: trust and endure. Too many times, when we face problems, we scramble, trying every which way we can to fix it. Then, when all else fails, we pray. God asks us to come to Him first. We are to trust in His Word and the promises of His comfort. His faithfulness is everlasting and abiding with those who turn to Him for guidance.

Next, we are to endure struggles. When we lean on God through trying times, He will strengthen us. His Word is full of encouragement, reminding us of the hostility Jesus endured so that we would not give up. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Heb. 12:2-3.

The next time you’re “stuck up a tree”, don’t give in, don’t give up, and don’t look down! Cry out to Jesus. God’s loving hand, filled with promise and assurance, will reach down and either remove the trial or carry you through it.

The Power of Truth:
“But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jer. 17:7-8

“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12

Suggestion for Prayer:
Bring your struggles before the Lord. Allow Him to comfort and strengthen you.