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One of our daughters competed in gymnastics for many years and because she was so strong and naturally flexible, it was a great fit for her. She could bend her body and perform splits without even thinking about it. When our oldest daughter started dance, she found she was not naturally flexible like her sister. By consistently stretching every single night, eventually she was able to do a split as well. But she had to work very hard to do the same thing her sister did with ease.

That happens a lot in life.

We can be coasting along and then God asks us to do something that’s not easy. In fact, it’s very, very hard. We think, “This is too difficult. This can’t be what God meant for me to do.” And even when we do work at it, the results are so minute that we think “I’m not even making any progress!”

Bu progress isn’t the goal.

When we choose to be obedient to God, we are following Someone who knows us so intimately, so perfectly, that He knows exactly how we need to be molded and shaped. He will take us down paths that don’t make sense. He will ask us to do things that are hard. He will ask us to trust Him for each step we take. It’s not easy to do for some people. Some people are more flexible than others. Just like our daughters and their different muscles, some people can find that flexibility to follow God easier than others.

Some people want their paths to be straight. They don’t mind hard work, but when change comes, suddenly they grow weary and unsure and sometimes unwilling.

Flexibility is a muscle in your heart no different than the muscles in your legs. If you stretch it, it can become more pliable. And we think the earlier you start with it, the easier it can become. It’s okay as parents to change the plans now and then. To teach your kids to roll with the punches. In life, that not everything goes according to plan. We know this, but it’s even more important in the spiritual realm as it is in the natural.

God doesn’t follow our plan. And following His can be messy and unpredictable.

Our kids are used to that for the most part, but the same daughter who has the most flexible muscles, is the same one who is least flexible when it comes to change. For her, it’s hard every time. But every time she works through those changes, and learns to accept them, the more flexible her heart becomes.

Encourage flexibility as a family. Be spontaneous with life. If you listen closely to His Spirit, He will send you on adventures. And as you follow Him, he continues to mold and shape you – individually, as a couple, and as a family. God is a brilliant craftsman. Lean into Him and trust that each bend in the road is one that brings you closer, even if you can’t see it yet.

Have a wonderful Christmas,

By: Jeff and Sarah Sumpolec have been married for 19 years and Jeff has been a therapist in private practice for more than 10 years. They have three daughters together and Sarah writes for and speaks to teens. Visit them at

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