Life: God’s Presence in the Hard Times

Pinecones in leaves

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Can I confess that I don’t like hard? I don’t want to have to suffer in doing what I’m expected to complete in a day.

I don’t want to run into an obstacle that knocks me down in the pursuit of living well.

I don’t know where I got the idea that living this life would be—should be—easy.

I don’t know why I have this desire to sail through my days with no pain, no difficulties, no trials.

Maybe it’s the human condition?

Battered leaf

In being a wife, a mother, a writer? There is hard in all of it.

When my husband travels for weeks at a time and  everything seems to weigh on me? That can be hard to navigate. Especially when one or both of the boys are struggling with his absence. There’s no room for self-pity. I’m pouring out, expending myself because that’s what needs to be done.

Many red leaves

When the boys are trying to figure out who they are, how to negotiate the rapids of school or junior high life? I’m their safe place. It’s a privilege. It’s hard to be the one who takes the brunt of their raw pain and tries to help them turn it into something beautiful.

In writing? Finding the words for a blogpost that might touch a reader . . .

. . . discovering the right aspects of a story that will speak truth and hope to readers . . .

. . . sometimes it seems like it would be easier to simply give up than to continue to pour myself into the words.

Not giving into the trap of comparing myself to where others are—what they’ve accomplished—is one of my personal struggles.

Stormy afternoon

In being a human on this earth, there is hard.

The question becomes, am I going to focus on the hard? Let it overcome me, drag me down, leave me wounded on the side of life’s road?

Or, am I going to get back up, keep pursuing God, and live in a way that brings Him glory?

Sunning leaf

God says in his word that in this life we will have trouble. Not we may have trouble. We. Will.

When we walk through the hard things in this life, we make small choices each step of the way.

Often the hard times are bigger than we are. Are we going to press through in our own strength? Or, will we reach out a hand to God and ask for His help? Invite Him into the process of the walking through?

It seems easier to push through in our own strength, rather than to humble ourselves and have to depend on Someone to help us.

Wooden fence

Often, when I’ve tried to push through on my own, I’ve been shoved down by the discouragement of not being able to move forward.

I’m learning to depend on the Lord to give me what I need to walk through the hard.

Colorful bush

God is strength for me, and for each of us. I know the things I’ve shared aren’t nearly as hard as what others go through. God uses situations in our lives to help us to grow in understanding Who He is, as well as help us to grow in holiness.

He never promised our walk with Him would be painless. But He does promise to walk through the hard with us. And in this, I find great hope and courage.

What about you? What lessons have you learned in the hard seasons of your life? What encouragement can you share with other readers here?

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17 thoughts on “Life: God’s Presence in the Hard Times

  1. Why is it we moms are more comfortable being the helper than asking for help? I find often times, the help is right there, God is just waiting for me to ask, to acknowledge I can’t do it alone. Thanks for your encouraging words through your hard days!

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    • Isn’t God patient, Debby? He’s waited for me to ask for help too. 🙂 I’m learning I can’t do it alone either. And, I love that God helps us when we choose to depend on Him. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by, Debby!

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  2. Hi Testimony Tuesday neighbor and friend!
    Ah, the comparison. I was just talking about this with the Lord this morning.
    And He said, “All you need to do is what I asked of you. Be faithful.”
    So, I endeavor. Life is hard – so many things pressing in all around. So many people, so many needs.
    We cannot do it without our Lord – why would we ever try?
    I’m so glad He’s walking with me too.
    Your pictures are lovely, as always, as well as your writing. You are doing a good thing here, Jeanne!

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    • Ruthie, how often I’ve tried to do more/other than what God has asked of me! So guilty on that count. I agree. I’ve tried to do things without God . . . and failed miserably. Like you, I have no desire to do anything without Him guiding me. 🙂
      I always appreciate when you stop by. 🙂

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  3. Every lesson I’ve learned, I’ve learned in the hard seasons. I know that doesn’t sound like good news, but it is truth, my friend. Hang in and just keep doing “THE NEXT THING.” xo

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    • I agree with you. The lessons I’ve learned best have been learned in the hard seasons of life. I just don’t LIKE those seasons. 🙂 Yes, keep doing “the next thing.” Love your thoughts here today!

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  4. Oh, sometimes just rolling over and letting it all slip through our hands seems so much easier, doesn’t it?! I’ve been having quite a few “give up” conversations with God lately. He’s been reminding me that I don’t have to give up everything, but I should give up a few things if I want to do anything well. Ouchy! Love you, friend and so glad that you are pressing on – at home and with words – you are setting an incredible example for all of us and I’m grateful for you. You matter in God’s Kingdom, friend – you truly do. xo

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    • Tiffany, I’ve had those give-up conversations too. It’s hard to give up the good things we like for His best, isn’t it? When we release those things, He frees us up to become more of who He created us to be.

      I’m grateful for you too, my friend!

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  5. Love this, Jeanne. Life is scary sometimes. My girl on her last year of high school and looking onward to college. Lesson learned? Just keep loving and sharing life. I’m glad to be sharing life with you … you are such an encourager. 🙂

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  6. I’m with Ruthie, you’re doing a good thing here, Jeanne! Your words encourage me today. God has blessed us greatly, but something about relocating countries for just 9 months is hard for me now. And helping my daughter navigate the changes. But I want to keep my focus on the One who is LORD over my hard places, so thanks for this today.

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    • Betsy, thanks for your words of encouragement. They bless me, coming from you.
      And yes, relocating countries, even for “only” nine months is HARD. On so many levels. Keeping our focus on the with severe transitions is the best way to walk amid and through them. What you’re doing is difficult, but I pray God reveals Himself to you in the daily-ness of life there. 🙂

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  7. Going through life is like opening different pages and waiting to find out what is next. The best way to navigate these changes is to rely on the only one who knows what lies ahead of us and is willing to take us through if we simply surrender our hands to Him.

    Thank you for visiting the previous week! I was really encouraged having you over.
    Many Blessings to you Jeanne

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