Grapes and Marbles: Responding to Difficulty

With the economy the way it is, so many of us have lost our jobs and our homes, and many of us are having marriage problems. You are not able to pay the bills. Maybe you are forced to move, which is like adding salt to an open wound. The whole complicated situation creates tension and fighting in your relationships. Perhaps, you have begun snapping at your spouse, and yelling at your children about the littlest things. Or, you’ve lost motivation and want to pull back from interactions with other people. It seems like there is no way out. And that is just the beginning. It can get worse from there…

As you step back and evaluate the situation, you realize that you don’t have control over your circumstances and you never really did. Yes, there are things that you could have done differently, but your options are limited now.

Who is really in control of your circumstances?

If you are a Christian, the answer you would give is Jesus. But do you believe it? I mean really believe it. Does Jesus affect the way you respond to life? How does this relationship change your response to the circumstances that He is allowing in your life now?

What if there were only two ways to respond to your circumstances? Either as a Grape or a Marble. Think about the different characteristics of both when pressure is applied:

A marble is hard and resists pressure. A marble tries to escape pressure by rolling out from under it. Eventually, a marble is crushed under the pressure. A crushed marble produces nothing but shards that cut and hurt. No new beauty is created from the ruins of a marble, just pieces to be swept up and thrown away. If you respond like a marble to the pressures of life, you are resisting the work that the Lord is trying to do in your life. Marbles are broken, hard, bitter, and angry.

The other option is to be a Grape. A grape is soft and can be quickly squished. It surrenders easily to pressure. When a grape is destroyed by pressure, something new is produced through the process: grape juice. And with time, wine. If you take a grape-attitude to God when life pressures you, your vulnerability is a willingness to trust Him and an attitude of surrender to Him. When you do this, God will give you a peace that is unexplainable. He will refine you into fine wine. He will transform you into someone new and beautiful inside.

In your current situation, are you choosing to be a Grape or a Marble?

Are you living like you trust that God is in control and has a good plan for your life?

Are you an example to your children of how to trust God amidst painful circumstances?

Have you asked Jesus for a heart to trust Him through the circumstances you are in, for your sake as well as your children’s?

I would love to hear your personal stories that may encourage someone else on their journey to trust Jesus when life circumstances are hard.

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