That word can mean in the midst of the in-between. You’re at point A, and gotta go through… a bit until you get to point B. That ‘bit’ can be quite a journey sometimes and require a lot of gumption, tenacity and perseverance. Sometimes there’s a long line between point A and point B.
Or through can mean done, over it, finished. Kaput. Hasta la vista baby. Done. Through.
And sometimes when the through (definition 1)—the in between hard stage—feels like just too much, well, it appears that the temptation can be to be through (definition 2). Done. Kaput.
As a teacher, I see it a lot. I work with students with disabilities. It’s amazing though, because I truly believe one of the greatest disabilities is not a learning disability in reading, or a developmental delay. I believe one of the greatest (worst) disabilities is the “It’s-too-hard–I-can’t-do-it” mindset which often leads to the I WON’T do it mentality. That can lead to being stuck in the middle of point A and point B. Stuck. Because they are through. (definition 2), done, kaput and unwilling to go through (definition 1) the hard to get to the finish line.
The sad thing as a teacher is that I know they don’t have to be—stuck, that is. They don’t have to be frustrated and stuck in the “I can’t do it it’s too hard” phase. They’ve just gotta do the hard thing, work hard, sweat a bit, embrace the uncertainty rather than feel that they already know it all, and be humble enough to listen… That’s the thing–a characteristic of so many stuck in the “I can’t do it it’s too hard phase” is that they just don’t hear. Their mindset is screaming so loudly they don’t want to hear of the way ‘through’ because their ‘through’ means DONE, over it….STucK. And stuck they can remain. Being through. in this light often makes the journey so much more difficult. It puts all the energy into battling the mindset when the energy could be moving them close to tackling the problem and getting them through…
I’ve learned that it’s hard to help those little ones. In that minute, I’ve gotta just step back and see that their choices are making the distance between point A and point B longer–and making the distance between point A and point B harder. It’s tough to help someone who is determined to be stuck. Takes a little time and space and determination to tackle the disability of “I Can’t” before they can even get to the problem to be solved. We can be our own worst enemies. I see it so often in the classroom…and I have learned that sometimes, I just have to let my students go through the hard thing–Through. as in Definition 2. I need to encourage them to keep on keeping on and give them visuals of what it looks and feels like to be Through… definition 1…through to the other side of the barrier.
I think the walk of faith can be so much like this. Do I trust the teacher to guide me in the steps I need to help me get from point A to point B? Am I humble enough to listen and learn? Am I vulnerable enough to be teachable? A few of my sons were really good athletes–and one of the things that helped them excel the most was that they were teachable…they listened to the coach and didn’t act like they knew it all. As a result, they learned so much, and I’m thinking that their journeys from point A to point B, and point B to C, etc., were shorter than it was for those athletes who may have been a bit more prideful and bucked the coach and resisted learning.
It’s amazing how pride can make us resist the very things which can lead us to a better place. I’m thinking pride is a big component in the equation of the mind that leads to the “I-can’t-do-it-it’s-too-hard” mindset. “Stubborn as a brick” isn’t a good thing when it keeps us from growing and moving forward…
The Bible is full of visuals of us walking ‘through…’. But the cool thing is, God is there for the journey from point A to point B. Yes, we can say we don’t want this journey and resist Him. We can think we have a better way. We can feel like it’s too much and this wasn’t what we had planned and can develop the “I-can’t-do-it-it’s-too-hard” mindset that leads to being stuck and through. But not for long if we read His word through the lens of faith (which is the lens of TRUST).
We can read “I CAN do all things through (through…) Christ who strengthens me.” We can read, “Even though I walk through (through…) the valley of the shadow of death, thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” We can remember that it says in Isaiah 41:10, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” We can call to mind Deuteronomy 31:8 that says, “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
I’m thinking the difference between the ‘through’ that takes precedence in our lives, is who or what we are turning to to influence our mindset. When we trust the coach, the teacher, and ultimately God, well, the ‘through’ that is more of a mantra in our minds and hearts is often definition 1…the knowing that we can get through… this in between stage with help and guidance and hard work and tenacity. But when pride of “it shouldn’t be this way,” or “I don’t deserve this” or “I-can’t-do-it-it’s-too-hard” takes over, well, it seems to me that instead of moving more toward the destination of point B, we take steps back that move us closer to A. A “Through.”(done, over it, kaput) mentality can lead us to breaking points. A break-through (through….) is getting to the other side of whatever is causing the “I’m through.”- (done, over it, kaput mentality). Here’s to breaking – through.
Thank goodness that we can always re-boot. God is a Redeemer. He redeems, restores, rejuvenates and loves us even when we’re sitting stuck somewhere between the starting point and next leg of the journey. As a fellow traveller in the connect the dots picture of our lives, I just wanted to remind you (and me) that there’s beauty in the plans He has for us. We don’t need to fear. That keeps us from moving on. We need to trust that God is for us. He is who He says He is. He loves like He says He loves. He does what He says He will do, and can even use our stubborn wills and heartaches to paint draw a glorious picture of our lives. He’s got the aerial and internal view even when we just see the looming point B dot ahead of us.
It takes courage to go through… (definition 1) and tenacity coupled with trust to not be through. (definition 2). Here’s to trusting and resting in the power of who He is and believing that He will connect the dots of our lives to make a beautiful, beautiful design. He is the Master of the break-through…the light breaking through the darkness, the life overcoming death, the faith overcoming fear. Here’s to being people of the through…. not people that are through.
He is worthy of our trust in the midst of whatever it is we are going through…
By His Grace~
p.s. We’re all just passing through… Am thinking that knowing that can help keep things in perspective and help us walk through even the toughest of spots with gratitude –and, yep–even joy in the journey, because when we keep perspective, there always seems to be some beautiful things to enjoy along the way…
“Where courage is not, no other virtue survives except by accident.” ~ Samuel Johnson
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 ALL things…
“So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord…” Hosea 6:3a
p.p.s. one more thought… amazing is the encouragement of a word, kind deed, or gesture to help someone go from being through (period), to going through…. a situation and getting to the other side. Am thinking it’s important to remember the power we have to help others along the way…