Press on Beautiful, Press on

This morning I feel so overwhelmed, anxious and afraid.  There are things that I have to do today that I would rather not do.  I would like to ignore them.  I would like to avoid them.  I would like excuse myself from participating in them.  Instead, I would like to go find something that is not so hard, something that does not cost me so much personally, something easier to do.

How about you, my dear reader, do you have struggles, trials and tribulations to face in your day?  Are there things, events or people that you wish you could permanently avoid?  Is there a responsibility that is causing you stress that you want to run away from?

I can empathize with you, I truly can.  There is such a beautiful similarity between us and our feelings even though we have different personalities and different circumstances.

I feel so compelled this morning because I need to hear this message.  That is so often what happens when I write, it helps me to work through something that I am facing.  I think that maybe, just maybe, there is someone feeling what I am feeling that could be encouraged by my sharing, by us meeting together through these words.

Press on Beautiful, Press on

You are beautiful!  You truly are.

That is the first truth we need to recall this morning.  I am writing to you today sitting in my PJs, wrapped in a purple fleece blanket that hugs me in warmth this cool fall morning, and I have to admit that I don’t know what kind of shape my hair is in because I haven’t run a brush through it yet today.  If I can say in this state that I am beautiful, then you my precious reader, can definitely take heart and know that wherever you are, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!

I wish I could look you in the eyes, so I could speak this truth just one more time, directly to you – yes YOU – YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!

Now here is when my message is going to get hard for both of us.  It is not flowery and it is not what we want to hear.

We need to press on.  It is time for us to keep going.  We need to persevere.  We need to persist.  We have to continue.  We are called to carry on.  We need to stick with it.  We have to prolong our participation.  Do not stop trying.

Those sentences are short and a small number of words, but they are definitely weighty upon my heart.  It leaves me wanting to scream out, “I can’t do it anymore!  I quit!  I give up!”

That may seem like the better option at this moment, but is it what God wants for you?  Is it what God wants for me?

Notice how I said “for” and not “from”.  It is not about what God wants from us.  It is what God wants for us.   God wants to partner with us for our betterment.

God is whole, is perfect and is never ending.  What He does, what He asks for, what He requires it is not because He is lacking and can not do without us.  It is for our benefit.  He is giving us an opportunity to grow, to know Him better, and to experience that which will help us develop into the amazing individuals He designed us to be.

I know this is a favorite verse when it comes to perseverance and I hesitate to use it again, but it is so called upon because it is suiting.

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14. 

Press on Beautiful, Press on

We need to move towards that which God has called us to.  Keep going.  Don’t quit.  Don’t stop.  Persist.

It is easy to get started.  There is passion.  There is excitement.  There seems to be an abundance of fuel for learning the new things that come our way.

It is exceedingly difficult to press on.  The passion wanes.  The exhaustion sets in.  The excitement excuses itself.  The troubles mount.  There is still much to learn and little fuel or time for learning.  There can be setbacks.  People get upset attempting to direct projects where they want them to go.

This is the time when doubt slams itself like a battering ram again the door of our hearts.  As we seek to desperately hold that door close, our ability to hold on weakens with every blow.  Maybe it feels like the doubt is flooding in all around the door and it feels as if we are drowning in it already.  This is when those thoughts of giving up of letting go become all we can hear.

It is in this time that between the doubts and negative thoughts, that God’s sweet, still small voice calls out to us.

What is the prize that we seek?

Is it comfort?  Is it possessions?  Is it control?  Is it power?  Is it worldly accolades?  Is it for the pleasure of another?

Is it the prize of Heaven?  Is it to know God better?  Is it to love the Lord with all your mind, your strength, your heart and your soul?  Is it to love others as you love yourself?

These are such humbling questions for me.  Because so often I find myself seeking the treasures of the world and I wonder why I am so exhausted emotionally.

When we seek the prizes of Heaven, we have the resources of Heaven available to us to help us run that race.

Read with me this passage from 2 Corinthians 4:7-12 (NIV)

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

Take Away Truths

  • We have a treasure and a power that is from God, not from us.
  • God’s power is all surpassing.  It can over come anything and everything that comes against us.
  • We may be hard pressed, perplexed, persecuted, struck down.  We will NOT be crushed.  We will NOT be in despair.  We will NOT be abandoned.  We will NOT be destroyed.
  • We experience such a small sliver of death so that we may experience the abundant life given to us through the death and resurrection of Christ.
  • Even in our mortal bodies on this earth the life of Heaven is at work in us.

God’s life is in you and in me.  God’s power and strength is available for us to call upon and rely on.

Today is the day.  Now is the time.

Press on Beautiful, Press on

Face those things in life that you struggle with.  Face them directly and head on.  Give the best that you have and trust that God’s strength will take you the rest of the way.

My dear reader know that I am running with you.  I may get winded at moments, I may even stop running and fall flat on my face crying on the ground.  But with tear stained cheeks and Christ’s outstretched hand to help us up, we can keep going.

Press on Beautiful, Press on

Beloved Lord,

Thank You so much for being a God of strength and of might.  You are so amazing.  Thank You for calling us and giving us a race to run.  Lord, it is so hard some days to keep going.  You know that.  That is why You have already made provisions for us along the route that You have for us. 

Lord, when we are weak or weary, when we are overcome with fear and doubt, when we fall, stumble and tumble, and when we feel as though we can not go on, give us the strength to look to You and the ability to hear Your voice.  May the treasure we seek be You Lord, simply You.

Thank You for reminding us that we are beautiful.  Thank You for helping us to press on.  In strength and life of Jesus, Amen.   

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One comment

  1. Connie Feight · · Reply

    Well, i am sitting here, wrapped in a beautiful cozy pink flowered blanket that hugs me in warmth.When i started reading this, i was flat on my face crying on the ground. We are there, sometimes together. It gives me hope, and laughter to see that image in my mind. This verse lifts me up to stand once again. “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear to dull to hear.” Isaiah 59:1
    Thank you, my beautiful hug.

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