Scripture isn’t just a gateway to our past but a promise to our present day. Paul perhaps is one of our wisest counselors, guides and brothers to these very promises.
“Though we experience every kind of pressure, we’re not crushed. At times we don’t know what to do, but quitting is not an option. We are persecuted by others, but God has not forsaken us. We may be knocked down, but not out. We continually share in the death of Jesus in our own bodies so that the resurrection life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity.”
2 Corinthians 4:8-10 TPT
What jumped out as I read this verse was, “at times we don’t know what to do, but quitting is not an option”. How many times have you been conflicted? Not known which direction is correct, as they both seem worthy and life giving? And what if we aren’t being asked to choose? For ME, this seems to be a constant conversation in my mind. Where I feel called, lead, excited to enter so many beautiful spaces but battle over which one is truly meant for me.
“The struggle comes from our old habits of sin, old mindsets, and our soulish personalities” -Havilah Cunnington
Then this. This one sentence that unpacked so much. So much discernment and thought. Is it truly my spirit that struggles or the old habits of my soul. Those habits I created to protect me, hide me, save me from the pain of this world. Habits like not committing, for fear of disappointing others. Habits like withholding my time, for fear of getting burnt out. Habits like judging the very people I pray for, for fear of them hurting me… again. How much of our thoughts are from a place of fear and angst instead of peace and freedom? How much worry do we add to our life because we are scared?
Freedom is found in the truth and the truth my friends, I believe, is in the gospel. Is in the words of our brothers and wise counselors that walked before us. That struggled with the same earthly struggles, fought the same early battles and feared the same earthly outcomes, all to then teach us. Teach us that while this earth is a gift, from our creator, it is also very broken. The minute Eve ate that apple, sin entered and hardships became our reality. But that’s not the end of the story. When we continue to read and learn about the character of God, we see He is one of compassion and mercy. While He could have turned a blind eye to that whole serpent and apple debacle, I mean he is God, He didn’t. Not because we wanted us to live a life in condemnation but maybe because He realized that we were made in His image, therefore, we were complex creatures. Maybe He realized that it wasn’t as simple as giving us perfection (The Garden of Eden) but giving us free will. As a mom, this resonates so much for me. I could literally plan and prepare the perfect meal, day, trip for my kids (in my mind), for them to still be disappointed. Not because I got it wrong but because they had no say. Being created in the image of God means we ourselves are creators. Not creators of just one thing but creators of many. We create beautiful spaces and words, melodies and portraits, spreadsheets and budgets, buildings and plans, relationships and bonds. We ARE master creators!! Therefore, we need free will, brokenness, even the entry of sin to allow us the opportunity to discern, hear the voice of God and do our best work. And I for one, love a good challenge.
So today, as you feel like quitting. Like the battle has more uphills than plateaus, trust that God is with you, guiding you, strengthening you for the next valley. He is using you for them. He is calling you to Him.
How do we know when we are getting “it” right?
You feel it.
You feel peace in the midst of the pain. You sense purpose, a calling, in the plan. You are no longer worrying about your old “soulish” (feelings protector) desires but exposing the fruit of your spirit. You are operating in a space of goodness, love towards others, internal peace, faithfulness and trust, a joyful spirit, you are kind and gentle, self control is your M.O.. This is when you know, we know, our greatest work is being done.
“Transformation will always be a journey, never a destination.” -Havilah Cunnington
This work will lead us, not stop us. We are navigating choppy waters, trusting the calm seas will come. Our journey will be worth living, worth sharing.
Now let’s go create and live our best life!!