Thriving or just surviving?
There is so much to ponder these days, especially with the weight of deployments, long separations, runny noses, dinner on the stove, and long-awaited moments of rest. Quite frankly, the first thoughts of each day ring more like “survival of the fittest” than praises in the storms of our lives.
But is that all there is to hope for?
Is that all we have to believe in or look forward to? Is this “just-make-it-to-the-end-of-the-day” marathon really what the race is even about?
Now, if you would have asked me that question a few months ago, I would have given you a resounding, “YES!” reply. Not necessarily because it was what I wanted, but because it was what I had…or so I thought. Feeling a victim of my circumstances and the roller-coaster of emotions they invoke, the voices in my head make the powerful argument that survival is the best I can hope for.
But the truth is, it’s not.
I can clearly remember a retreat I was a part of a few years ago. In a crowded room full of military wives (most of whom had husbands deployed), the speaker asked if anyone felt like they were “just surviving” life in general. The snickers, nods, and boisterous “AMEN’s!” spoke volumes. He smiled, as did his wife who was with him, and then stood to ask another, equally telling question, “Now, how many of you believe the lie that “survival” is the best you can hope for?”
Then, rather than take the risk we wouldn’t make the connection for ourselves, he went further to make it for us. He explained that the danger in believing the lie that survival is the best you can hope for is two-fold:
- It is not true and incapacitates our ability (and/or desire) to grow, to pray, to hope…just to name a few.
- It assumes another lie–that survival is the best God has planned for you. And that, dear ones, is absolutely a LIE!
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Are you weary of the battle, the struggle?
He sees you.
The Lord watches over you – the Lord is your shade at your right hand; Psalm 121:5
He loves you.
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:10
He walks with you.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me… Psalm 23:4
He is good.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever… Psalm 100:5
He is good to you.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Psalm 23:5
He has good things planned for you.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
He is faithful.
For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Psalm 117:2
He does not grow weary.
He will not let your foot slip – he who watches over you will not slumber; Psalm 121:3
He rejoices and delights in you.
As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you. Isaiah 62:5
He waits for you.
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! Isaiah 30:18
My first step in walking out from under the fog of disillusionment began with taking some time to see myself (and my life) through my Father’s eyes. And if you find that you are struggling for His perspective in your life, I would encourage you to do the same.
Read the verses listed above. I mean, really read them. Hear the promises and reassurances of goodness, of love, of tenderness, of hope that is whispered to you within them. Then take the next step. Believe it is true for you personally.
Take some time to journal and list the blessings or areas in which you can see His hand of love at work in your life. Do you see Him there in the middle of it all? You should. Be careful to distinguish lies from Truth, be diligent to apply Truth, and discard the lies whose only purpose is to blind your eyes and embitter your tender heart.
There is no doubt that there are beautiful days ahead. Yes, they will still probably be hard, but no less beautiful and ever so precious. You are being poured into by a Savior who longs to fill your cup, restore your weary heart, and show you the “good land” that He is preparing for you. A land where you don’t just survive, but THRIVE.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
***The song I would like to share with you today is from Bethel Live, called “God I Look To You.” This song is by far one of my favorites–one I return to worship with when my perspective needs a cool drink of water. Enjoy…be encouraged.
With joy for the journey,