Tuesday, August 12, 2008

No Shrinking

“Problems can slow us down temporarily
but they don’t have the ability to stop us.
Only we have that power.”

~Wayne Cordeiro~

She was drug by a horse as a 20-year-old, causing her to nurse a bad hip most of her life, only to have it replaced over fifty years later. She told stories of sitting up all night with her young asthmatic son, before the days of breathing treatments and steroids, just praying he'd keep breathing. She spent many days caring for her dying husband and had a leg amputated in her eighties. Yet she kept plugging away, making the most of life, enjoying her family and baking for them in the early hours of the morning, on one leg, no less.

When I asked her how she did it, how she got through so many tough times, she gave me a confused look, shrugged her shoulders and said, "What else are you going to do?"

Smart woman. The alternative to pressing on is to stop, to quit and do what? Wallow in misery? Waste away in bed? Hide your light?

When life gets hard, I want to escape. I daydream about lying on warm, sandy beaches or being snowed in at a cozy mountain cabin, with plenty of time to sleep and read and enjoy my husband. But running away doesn't remove the problems. Fantasizing only intensifies the longing to be removed from trouble.

God's call to endure is really a gift, making us move past the pain and on to better things. Though it feels like drudgery sometimes, it is His grace, forcing us to look beyond what is before us, telling us to seek the divine, the impossible, the beautiful. When we are able to do so, we build hope. And wonder. And purpose.

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, "He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him." But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.

Hebrews 10:36-39
Hope comes from believing, knowing God will get you through, understanding in any moment He has the power to change you or the situation, trusting He knows what is best, believing a miracle could be just around the corner. Do you see the beauty in that? Do you see the childlike faith and wonder? Don't you want it? Don't you want to be wowed? Don't you crave the magic of God's hand? Don't you want to live life with a sparkle in your eye and a gasp at the ready when God shows Himself?

I will not shrink back and be destroyed. I will press on, believing the impossible. I will trudge through the problems, allowing myself a brief rest if necessary, but going forward in the end, knowing God will make all things beautiful in His time.

"What else are you going to do?"

Will you shrink back and be destroyed? Or will you press on and believe, with HOPE?

To read more impressions of this quote, visit Karen at In Love W.I.T.H. Jesus.


MiPa said...

"I will not shrink back and be destroyed."

What a great thought to meditate on and to pray often. Bless you!

Brenda said...

I love this post Tami. When I was in college I read a story in a devotional that relates to this and so spoke to my heart. A student knew an elderly woman that was so sweet, kind and had a gentle spirit. She found out this woman had been through terrible tragedies. She asked he how she could still have such a wonderful spirit after being to the depths of the ocean. Her reply was "While I was down there I picked up the pearls."

Karen said...

I loved your post. The story of the lady and her attitude towards dealing with her problem. It shows well what having God in our lives can do for us.

Patricia@Typing One-Handed said...

"Hope comes from believing, knowing God will get you through, understanding in any moment He has the power to change you or the situation, trusting He knows what is best, believing a miracle could be just around the corner."

This may be my favorite quote from today's In Other Words. It's going up on the fridge...the bathroom mirror...the dashboard of the van...along with our family verse, Jeremiah 29:11.

Thanks for sharing, Tami!

kpjara said...

I'm so out of touch I didn't even know "In other words" was back.

I love this story, it speaks to the endurance we all desire!

Thanks also for the constant encouragement.

Denise said...

Amen, this was so beautiful.

Julie said...

I LOVED this post. Thank you for sharing it. I know so many times I put my hope in what's on the horizon...and change. When He tells me to put my hope in HIM alone.

I came here from the "Fruit In Season" blog. Something you wrote on your post there touched me. You said something about feeling selfish for wanting a mentor or spiritual director. I can't remember your exact words. I wanted to tell you what an honor it is for someone to be invited into a life to "mentor". I am now 50 years old and married 25 years. I have 5 precious women who are in a small group that my husband and I started for young marrieds. The fact that they invite me in to walk with them, listen to them, encourage them is a great gift. I want you to know that if you were to offer your heart to someone for mentoring it would be a blessed gift for THEM.

I am honored with each heart that Papa God invites me into to love on. I count each one as a treasure.

Your life, your heart....they are treasures....

Laurie Ann said...

What a wonderful post, Tami! God has given you a precious gift for encouragement and wisdom through your writing and I'm so glad you've shared it with us today.

Joyfull said...

Wonderful post. Such truth that we need to continue on through our problems. Thanks be to God for His strength and that He is always with us. Thanks for sharing.

Aunt Jeanie said...

I read your blog today and instantly know who you were referring to. She would surely approve of your description of her as it was exactly as she was. I went into her kitchen many times and saw the rolls cooling on the counter. They had been baked very early in the morning and she was sitting in her chair, reading her bible which she did every day. Thanks for reminding me of her dedication and he determination. She was one to be admired by all her kids and grandkids. Aunt Jeanie

Jaime said...

Wonderful post! Not to mention one I needed to read. I wish I could have known this wonderful woman everyone in the family talks about. It is my loss. Perserverance does pay off and God blesses those who lean on Him in times of trouble. Thank you for this!

Heather@Mommymonk said...

What else are you going to do? Sometimes I wonder if our generation is lacking that kind of fortitude, perseverance, stick-to-itiveness that older generations had. I want that to be attitude, instead of wishing I could hole up in the cabin (although that does sound good!)

Susan said...

Hey Tami,

I came back to check out the posts I missed.

Once again, I'm so blessed and challenged by this awesome word.

I just loved this sentence:

Hope comes from believing, knowing God will get you through, understanding in any moment He has the power to change you or the situation, trusting He knows what is best, believing a miracle could be just around the corner.

What a perfect definition of HOPE!

Bless you Tami♥