Today as I sit on my porch listening to the vehicles go by on the highway and bat away the flies trying to lay claim to my coffee, I can’t get away from Philippians 3. What I am coming to learn at 36 is that life will always have its challenges, and if it doesn’t it’s a sure sign you’re stuck, stagnant, or dying.
In many cases I have experienced tremendous growth, and in a couple areas, namely one–I have been beating around the bush instead of just going straight to the Father with, “With this one thing, why are we still here?”
Have you ever had those areas of life that felt unchanging while everything else flourished, and in your human mind if it would just transform already, it could become this beautiful thing and possibly blend in better with the bigger picture?
But I’ve had to surrender those trifling areas, along with the picture in my mind, of what it is all supposed to look like. The glorious unfolding can quickly become an idol if I am not careful.
“You mean I have to surrender every step?”
And of course, Father is quiet in His response because He knows I know the answer.
If you have no need of admitting to a hard area in your life, I commend you, but I don’t think I have yet met one person who is living flawlessly.
At the same time since I let go of the old life and stepped into the new, I have seen a vast array of possibilities I only dreamed of seeing before when everything was filtered through a lens of “waiting for the perfect weather before I plant” (see Ecclesiastes 11:4).
I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back. No turning back. Though none go with me, I sure will follow. Though none go with m, I sure will follow…
You know the song? Look it up.
“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.
No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.
I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you.
But we must hold on to the progress we have already made. Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example.
For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. They are headed for destruction.
Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only of this life here on earth. But we are citizens of Heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for Him to return as our Savior.”
Philippians 3:12-20 New Living Translation
Don’t give up. Yes, it was tiring pushing through the dark soil to reach the sky, your blooms coming into position ready to burst forth with new promise.
Yes, growth is painful. You wind around hard things and through things, not knowing exactly what it will all look like in the end. When in bloom: trust, rest, trust.
Rest in God’s presence. He will refuel you for the journey.
You will get the strength you need to keep fighting forward. Don’t give up, just take a break.
Release all the heavy burdens into the Father’s hands. Because what the enemy wouldn’t want us to see is that the result of giving up hurts worse than the pain of holding onto God in the fight.
Don’t give up. Only rest.
Check out the book I have been working on for a year.