Why We Can’t Always Push Through Struggle

by | Mar 23, 2020 | Uncategorized

Struggle Strategziers: Mary and Martha

*For more about Mary and Martha read our blog “Struggling to Watch Other’s Suffer.”

So, you’re struggling. A lot. You recognize you’re in a battle, you recognize Jesus empathizes with you, but you’re stuck. Struggles present multiple challenges, but our struggles can give us answers as well. This idea may sound strange, but hear me out. Society tell us to be strong, stick it out, be tough, and fight through struggles. Although, that mentality is not the only way to conquer them.

You can’t hustle your way through every hardship in order to gain victory over it.

Waking up at 6 am, getting caffeinated, working out, and downing a protein shake is not the end all be all. You can’t just push through depression and anxiety. You can’t just push through physical complications. You can’t just push through spiritual doubts. You can’t dig your way out of a hole. Instead of digging, we have to bury the idea that strength is the ultimate strategy for stepping through struggles.

Instead of pushing through hardship we have to retreat to rest.


Usually, Mary and Martha are viewed as polar opposites. Mary sat at Jesus’ feet while Martha cooked for her guest. (Luke 10:38-42). In that moment, Jesus says Mary chose the better option. In that moment. These words teach us that hustle has a proper place. My pastor once told me “We need Martha’s hands, and Mary’s heart.” Let that sink in struggle strategizer.

See, after Lazarus died Martha went outside to meet Jesus, but Mary stayed inside (John 11:20). Both sisters had to learn to rest while waiting for Jesus to arrive. Sure they were anxious, but they learned that not all of their struggles could be pushed through. In Luke 10:38-42, Martha pushed to the max. She probably went all out when she prepared that meal for Jesus, but this time she had no way to push through her feelings. She didn’t even know when Jesus would knock on the door. After the death of Lazarus, Martha is still a hustler. She made it to the door before Mary, but in that moment she realized that her hustle, nor drive, could determine her peace, future, or if her brother would live. In the days after Lazarus’s death, Martha realized that hustle could not resurrect her brother. In that moment, only Jesus’ actions could determine Martha’s peace, future, and Lazarus’ life. 

Jesus’ timing took present over Martha’s hustling heart, and the same holds true for you. Martha acknowledges this truth when she tells Jesus “… I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask (John 11:22).

5 Reasons “Pushing through it” doesn’t ALWAYS work:

  1. Speed does not always equate to success (John 11:14).
  2. We can hustle faster than others, but we will never be able to run in front of God (John 11:20-21).
  3. If Jesus resurrected a man days behind everyone else’s schedule we can walk into this season and trust his timing (John 11:4-7).
  4. We are not all-powerful (Revelation 1:8).
  5. Our hustle will not outweigh God’s plan (John 11:32).

4 Reasons to Hustle:
1. When Jesus tells you to follow him (John 11:14).
2.When Jesus knocks on the door (John 11:20).
3. When Jesus asks for you (John 11:28).
4.We are not all-knowing (Revelation 1:8), but need to be responsible and plan for the future.

Listen, waking up at 6 am, getting caffeinated, working out, and downing a protein shake might be what you need physically, mentally, and emotionally. Calling your doctor to discuss anxiety medication might be what you need physically, mentally, and emotionally. Adding one more activity to your calendar to help someone in need might be what you need physically, mentally, and emotionally. At some point, we have to hustle to answer God’s call, and be the healthiest version of ourselves, but our hustle will never outweigh God’s plan or make our future certain.

Never Give Up,

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1 Comment

  1. Alexis

    During this time when ‘stay at home’ orders are in effect I feel there has been some competition where people feel while at home they need to get ahead or that it is a competition of how much we accomplish while we are at home, where for some people this may be a good distraction from what is going on outside or in the world and not to say that it is not beneficial to do these things, but to also be mindful of why you are doing these things and if we are ‘hustling’ in these ways to answer God’s call. It was also a good reminder of while indoors right now we can only try and attempt to plan so much, but ultimately we are not the ones in charge, but the ones that need to take charge to answer God’s call.


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