"There is no new thing under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 1:9b).

As I homeschooled my children, I was surprised to find myself reliving many of the same frustrations I experienced as a young student. One day, I watched as my daughter struggled to solve a story problem in algebra. As she tried to identify the unknown variables in the problem, she cried, "Mom, I just don't get this!"

Remembering my own issues with story problems, I replied, "I know it's difficult to understand. Story problems were always hard for me, too. My junior high math teacher had to spend hours with me before I could finally figure them out."

"Really?" she asked. "I thought I was the only one who couldn't get these."

As Christians, Satan attempts to isolate and defeat us in our failures by convincing us that no one understands our problems. Although each person's experience may be slightly different, we all deal with the same basic sinful temptations mankind has experienced since the Garden of Eden (1 Corinthians 10:13a). Thinking we are alone in fighting our battles, we become discouraged in our Christian walk. We fall prey to Satan's age-old tactics of "the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life" (1 John 2:16b) and finally give up, thinking that the victorious Christian life won't work for us.

What about you? Are you experiencing a personal struggle in your walk with the Lord today? Perhaps the stress of homeschooling is revealing character flaws that cause you to stumble. Don't despair. You're not alone. Others have experienced what you're going through and know how to help with encouragement and prayer. Best of all, you have a loving Savior who forgives and changes your life to "make all things new" (Revelation 21:5).

Father, I've failed so many times to live my life in the way You want. Please, lead me to godly friends who can help and give me strength to resist those temptations that would lead me from You. In the name of Jesus, Amen.