How to Get Strong–Allow the Struggle

“You can’t help them, can you?” I observed to my friend as we gazed at an egg incubator with about two dozen eggs. We watched one baby chick struggle as it pecked its way out of the eggshell.

“No, they get stronger as they peck at the shell. If you broke it, they wouldn’t have the strength they need to survive.”

I watched the baby chick peck its way out until finally it flung its body out of the shell and flopped. The chick tried to get up and fell, tried to get up and fell again, over and over.  The chick flapped its little wet wings and tried to walk on its huge webbed feet but couldn’t.

It was hard to watch except that I knew that the best thing to do was to let the chick struggle. I watched it get up, fall and then rest. This was the pattern.

Get up. Fall. Rest.

Get up. Fall. Rest.

Get up again.

Slowly after getting up and falling down, and flapping its little wings, the chick began to get stronger and stronger.  His feathers dried and began to fluff out.

After 24 hours, the chick was up on its feet and ready to eat and drink and hang out with the other chicks who had already been through the process.

As I reflected on this incident, I thought about how we too get strength from the hard things we peck away at. This truth applies to everyone at some point in life.

Think about how this might apply to you.

Sometimes you may move into a new area or challenge.  You may lose your job and need to explore new options. Other times you may be recovering from an illness or addiction.  You may be trying to change a harmful habit or resist a temptation. In life you will face difficulties.

At other times you may feel like an earthquake hit your life or in fact you have a real natural disaster such as a fire or accident or lose your home or some other tragedy hit your life.

These events are not easy to deal with. They test you. In the midst of your distress, be encouraged with this truth. When you persist in chipping away at your obstacles, you get stronger.

When the battle is so hard for you, sometimes you may wonder why, why, why and maybe even wonder why God doesn’t intervene and rescue you.

Why is a big question which does not have easy answers.

The truth is, God is for you. Sometimes He does rescue you. Other times, because God understands the process, He knows it’s important to let you struggle. He knows as you fall down and get back up, eventually you’ll be strong enough to stand on your own.

Sometimes friends or family who don’t intervene understand this process too. Hopefully they provide a nurturing environment as you struggle. For more on insights about allowing others to struggle to get strong. you can read my other post when you finish reading this one.

When you trust this process, you can also allow yourself to struggle in a new area or as you attempt to recover from a difficult life situation.

You can give yourself permission to fall, rest and get up.

Get up. Fall down. Rest.

Get up again.

This is the pattern for eventual victory. Rather than give up, as you keep trying, you will gain the strength to stand on your feet.

When you don’t feel strong, seek God and His strength and lean on Him to help you get up. Rest in His love and care for you. As you look to Him, He will give you new strength. Then like the baby chicks, you will not only walk but run freely, confident, firm and strong.

“Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)

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