The headache returned, and was apparently not happy that we had medicated and prayed it away just four days earlier. Today, it is even worse, and Morgan has sent me several text messages from school sharing with me how miserable she is and how much her head hurts. Since she missed seven days of school recently due to this problem, she had to go to school or suffer serious consequences, so all I can do is hang my head in defeat and confusion.
We are taking some new steps this week to treat the headache and I was able to get an earlier appointment with our neurologist, so hopefully we can try to find our way back to victory lane again. But for now, we are wandering in the desert trying to figure out which way to turn.
Do you ever feel like that about something in your life? You thought you had overcome the problem, but then it quickly rears its ugly head again, and with even more strength than before?
Sometimes I feel like that. One example is thinking that we got rid of the headache, but actually, it just hid itself away for a few days.
Another example, is how I successfully fight off the urge to eat a calorie-intense lunch and instead eat a healthy salad, and feel all good about myself and my willpower…. until the kids get home from school, and I find it physically and emotionally impossible not to eat the warm chocolate chip cookies that I baked for them. (note to self, stop trying to be June Cleaver and never make cookies again). So the next day, I suck it up and start the diet back at square one.
Sometimes this seems to be the case in relationships. With one certain person in my life, each time I feel like we have climbed a little farther up the mountain and are close to getting back to a trusting relationship again, something seems to happen to knock my feet out from under me and send my emotions plummeting back to the valley, feeling hurt and disappointed. So the next day, I pick myself up and try to start back at square one.
There are so many things in life that seem like victory is an impossible achievement, like relationships, diets, and medical mysteries, and sometimes even matters of faith.
Have you ever committed to spend time with God each day or do a morning devotion, but it never fails that something draws your attention away and before you know it the whole day has passed?
Have you ever done great on a diet all week, then blew it out of the water over the weekend?
Have you ever promised to not gossip anymore, then before you knew it, you found yourself talking about some juicy news with a friend?
Have you ever vowed to not lose your temper with your family or co-workers, but then at the onset of a stressful situation, you lose it completely?
Have you ever forgiven someone for something, but then find yourself pulling up that old list of wrongs against you the very next time you see them?
Do you believe Gods Word is truth, but then doubt His sovereignty when you cant see the good in a really bad situation, or even find yourself wondering if He really cares about you at all?
Victory over hard things is, well, hard. Sometimes it may even seem completely out of reach, and then we find ourselves drowning in a pool of frustration and defeat. It is exactly those times, when we have no other choice but to lay the burden at Gods feet. Give it to Him fully. And most importantly, understand that God knows we failed, but forgives us and loves us anyway.
Perseverance is a virtue, and is necessary, regardless of the situation we are faced with, but there are times when perseverance just seems way too hard. It would always be easier to just quit and give up. But God calls us to remain faithful to the end and to hold onto Christ for our strength. We are called to battle sin and walk in faith, even when it is hard and frustrating.
Being able to persevere, even when the going gets tough, is a sign that we are leaning on God, depending on His strength, and trusting Him to help us achieve the victory that we so desire, in whatever area of our life that we are working on.
Being able to push forward despite all odds, shows that God is working in our life and in our hearts. Perseverance proves that we are allowing Him the opportunity to work through us even when we want to throw in the towel and cant seem to take another step in our own strength.
The goal is not to just to get to the finish line, but to get there by resting in the mercy and grace that Christ promises. What an amazing feeling to know that we do not have to do it on our own, because the truth is, we cant do it on our own anyway.
Fortunately, God has designed our salvation in such a way that we are enabled to persevere, not by determined will power or our own strength and abilities, but by drawing near to Him.
If you are facing something in your life in which victory seems to be unattainable, spend some time in prayer asking God for perseverance, to not only stay the course during the trial, but to depend on Him in the midst of the journey. The enemy wants you to believe that you are defeated and that there is no hope, but in Christ, we find encouragement, inspiration, and strength.
His power becomes our willpower to keep going, even when we keep finding ourselves at square one.