This past Saturday, I did something that is quite rare. I stayed home, cozied up on the couch, put a kettle on the cooker, and just sat there and read for most of the day. I’m currently on Book #8 for the year of which Saturday’s read was so life giving that I just had to share my thoughts with all of you.
Stronger than the Struggle by Havilah Cunnington offers practical ways to keep your head above waters in difficult seasons, as well as reminding us of the redemptive power of Jesus Christ that lives within us. Sometimes, we simply just need to be reminded of the power we possess, that “greater is He that is in me than he who is in the world”.
1 John 4:4 (This has been my rhema word of scripture for this season).
Havilah writes, “We can trust that when God says no, he is trying to protect us; when God says not now, he is trying to prepare us. He never says anything without the best intentions.”
God has our best interest at heart, even if at times, it may feel otherwise. When trust is established, the foundation for our relationship with God (and every relationship for that matter), we will walk in an understanding that looks towards the future without worry.
Last week, a friend shared a sermon with me called, “While you were waiting.” Check it out here! Anyways, one of the most simple, yet profound statements brought that sense of indescribable peace into my heart and mind. Pastor Dawn Chere states, “Waiting isn’t worrying. Waiting isn’t wondering.”
In seasons of waiting (which, hey, we will always be in a season of waiting until Jesus returns or calls us home), we have to learn to release our wondering thoughts and our wandering bodies into the hands of the LORD. Worrying gets us nowhere in life, and I’m most certain this is not the first time that you have heard that before.
This morning, while getting in my daily morning “Tea+Twitter”, I stumbled upon this tweet:
“Even if the wait
carries on another year,
I will not get where I am going
without first learning
to be here.”
Key word: here
The adverb, here, defines a life that lives in the present, a life that makes not tomorrow, but today our best day.
A life that leans on God’s understanding in the here and now will not accidentally wander away from God’s will tomorrow. As Havilah writes, “In most cases the fight is simply doing what God has put right in front of us-living as Christ has called each of us to live.”
When I trekked through the Andes Mountains in Peru (it is still the most incredible experience of my life), I can definitely say that by Day 3, my body was feeling a little beat. That third day, we hiked 12 hours, climbing up to 14,000ft the day previous. Towards the end of Day 3, the tendinitis in my knees were screaming, my legs felt like jello, and when the trekk guide said that we only had a little further to go, we made a joke that Peruvians have a different definition for a “little further,” for we still had MANY steps to take before we ever arrived at camp that night(I wasn’t too happy about it). However, I learned something profound. The reason the trekk guide didn’t tell us the “full reality” was because he wanted us to focus on what was right in front of us. This is the key to physical (and spiritual) endurance.
Our trekk guide didn’t want the reality of our circumstances (physical pain and all) to distract us and make us miss all of the beauty that was all around us. And, isn’t that just like the enemy? He will tempt us, distract us, lie to us, and whatever other little scheme he has in mind to make us miss the beautiful wonder of God. It is a daily walk with God. And, when our eyes become focused on Him, inevitably we will discover the joy that gives us the daily strength to conquer today.
If we look too far ahead and focus on every unanswered question/worry/fear about the unknown, we will become overwhelmed, anxious, and weary to the bone. When God’s Word clearly states, “But they who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
Waiting without worry or wonder provides strength. Fixating our eyes on the present God, rather than our present circumstances, will give us the strength to endure. Get the Word of God in your heart and mind, DAILY. You, my friend, are stronger than the struggle.