We've talked about how important it is to Strive in this life. Striving means to try very hard to do something or to make something happen, especially for a long time or against difficulties.
It is important to enjoy life and striving should be part of your life. So how do we enjoy striving when it is hard?
How do we thrive in the strive vs. just surviving?
My sisters and I had started a business. At our peak of success, we had a large online store, hosted national conventions and had three brick and mortar locations.
Then the market changed and our success quickly changed. We had to eventually close the business.
The burden we were left with seemed unsurmountable and heavy.
We worked together as a family. As a family, we sacrificed hours and money. Everybody took a part.
We didn't walk away, we kept striving. We didn't let this defeat us.
We did our best and cried to the Lord for help. We had to have patience and endurance.
Then the Lord started prospering us by degrees.
The burden didn't go away overnight, it took years, but one day we were free.
Looking back I can see how the Lord was carrying the burden with us. Guiding us and easing the load.
In the Book of Mormon, we learn about Limhi and his people. They were dealing with their enemies (the Lamanites) attacking them. At first, they were just surviving the strive.
Why? Because the action they took was to focus on their own strength and to complain about their circumstance. Three times, they went up against their enemies they lost and they lost a little more each time.
Eventually, they began to reevaluate their approach, and decided that they needed to pay more attention to the commandments, and rely on God for their success with patience. This is when they started thriving in the strive.
I love the promise found in Mosiah 21:15-16, "The Lord did hear their cries, and began to soften the hearts of the Lamanites that they began to ease their burdens; yet the Lord did not see fit to deliver them out of bondage.
And it came to pass that they began to prosper by degrees...that they did not suffer."
That description – that the Lord did not see fit to deliver them, but allowed them to begin prospering by degrees – is the lesson.
He knows each of us. He knows what we need. He knows which test will strengthen us. He knows what we need to go through to become stronger.
In our business closure, it would have been great for our debt to miraculous disappear but then we wouldn't have gained the skills and strength that we earned in prospering by degrees.
We learned how to work harder and smarter. We learned that money could not destroy our family relationships. We become stronger as a family.
We continued to turn to the Lord and even though the road was hard and long we felt him by us in every painful step.
For years we prospered by degrees until we day we were free from the burden.
Sometimes life is hard. Life can be unfair. That is the reality of the human experience. You can't escape trials.
Are you going to fight with reality and just focusing on surviving or are you going to learn to thrive?
How do you learn to thrive?
Don't be in a hurry. Don't expect a rescue. Don't expect the burden to go away.
Do expect growth. Do expect a better version of yourself. Do expect the Lord to strengthen you and to help you carry the burden.
Look for Him, He is there. Look for how you are prospering in degrees.
Thriving is when you stop resisting the hard. When you stop resisting is when it becomes easier.
Sounds crazy right, but it's true. I have experienced this time and time again.
Something hard enters my life. I resist it. I focus on what has gone wrong. Then I stop. I accept reality. I lean into the challenge and that is where I feel myself stop surviving the trial but thriving in the strive.
If you need to learn better skills to thrive in the strive, book a call. Trials of life are not going away but you can learn the skills that will help you thrive in the strive.