Hold the Line

All of us have moments when we think, “I cannot do this even one more day!”  Last night, as I prayed about the day, for some reason I remembered an awful evening in December, 2015, just a couple of weeks before Bev died, when exhaustion – emotional, spiritual, and physical – caught up with me.  Her long struggle with cancer was obviously coming to an end, she was unable to care for herself, weak and mentally confused. After helping her get ready for bed, which at that point was much like caring for an infant, seeing her deathly pallor, I collapsed in tears. Frustrated, sad, angry, confused, worn down – it seemed like despite my intense love for her that I could not do it all even one more day.  But, I did.

That evening, God sent two friends who saw my need. They urged me to get some rest, told me that they would take over for a while. I found a place alone, where I wept, prayed incoherently for the sustaining grace of God, and put the pieces of life back together.

That is a hard memory and I only share it because I want you to know that you can keep going!  When you think the well is dry, you can dig deeper and find a way. You are stronger than you think and God has resources for you, if only you will ask. Oh yes, we pray for fairy tale ending, don’t we? I wanted Him to heal Bev. I dreamed about having a whole and loving wife back again, but that was not His plan. That pit was deep and the months that followed her death the pit got even deeper.

But, now with 5 years of perspective, I use Paul’s words to describe His faithfulness: “We were crushed and completely overwhelmed, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we learned not to rely on ourselves, but on God who can raise the dead. And he did deliver us from mortal danger. And we are confident that he will continue to deliver us.” (2 Corinthians 1:8-10, NLT)

In those awful years I re-discovered a plain, perhaps too obvious truth. Christian, God needs people who are willing to be steady plodders. Consistency must not be overlooked or under-rated.  We often find ourselves admiring those who are attractive, who look like they are untouched by the trials of the ordinary mortals. Have you ever wondered, “Why can’t my job be as fulfilling as his?”  “Why isn’t my marriage as loving as theirs?”  “Why is my faith so tested and theirs comes so easily?” 

The fact is much of the time we are deceived by appearance, unable to see the struggle beneath the surface.  If we let ourselves become captives of envy, we who are ordinary mortals may well decide that we do not have ‘what it takes’ to compete in the race, to bring glory to God. One of the Devil’s most successful lies is this – “You don’t measure up so give up, retreat, surrender.”  In that choice the Kingdom loses a faithful servant of Christ.

While watching the SuperBowl last night, I heard a lot of talk about Tom Brady, who is undoubtably an outstanding leader and quarterback. Those men who stand on the offensive line in front of him, men seldom named, who almost never win the Most Valuable Player award, make it possible for Brady to do what he does! They get slammed, play after play, to keep him from being touched so he can throw those passes or make the hand-off. Stars may get the attention, but the faithful plodders carry the heaviest part of the load in life.

On this Monday morning are you wondering how you can make it to Friday?
Does the thought that you just cannot do it another day play through your mind?  You can!

Pause, even for a moment, and look up.  
Pray! Eloquence is not needed. “O God, I need You” is enough.
Then, receive the strength, the provision, He gives. 

The Spirit of God is with us, right here, right now. He gives strength to the faithful who seek Him. God, the Spirit, asks us to keep walking in His strength.  Plodders needed who, in those moments, choose to put one foot in front of the other. Paul reminds us: “I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen. This is a trustworthy saying: If we die with him, we will also live with him. If we endure hardship, we will reign with him.” (2 Timothy 2:10-12, NLT)  Keep walking!

Take the wisdom of God’s Word to heart. Our word from the Word says “Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. … So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.” (Hebrews 10:23-24, 35-36, NLT) 

Then, you will be able to look back and say – “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7-8, NKJV)

Ah, disciple, I want to finish well and hear His commendation, don’t you?


Who You Say I Am

Who am I that the highest King
Would welcome me
I was lost but He brought me in
Oh His love for me
Oh His love for me

Who the Son sets free
Oh is free indeed
I’m a child of God
Yes I am

Free at last
He has ransomed me
His grace runs deep
While I was a slave to sin
Jesus died for me
Yes He died for me

In my Father’s house
There’s a place for me
I’m a child of God
Yes I am

I am chosen not forsaken
I am who You say I am
You are for me not against me
I am who You say I am

(Oh) (Yes) I am who You say I am

Ben Fielding | Reuben Morgan © 2017 Hillsong Music Publishing Australia (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

CCLI License # 810055

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