Don’t Quit Running
You’re running through the woods. Your friends are in front of you moving with ease, but you are struggling to keep up. Branches scrape your face. Thorns prick your arms. You can’t see the path ahead of you. You are about to give up when all of a sudden the branches vanish. The sharp thorns become dull, and all that’s left is a bright clear path. You sprint up to your friends and spring forward into the light. All of a sudden, your journey has become easy.
But you couldn’t have cut the branches on your own right? You were hopeless before they were taken away. You totally would have given up and been left behind.
We, especially myself, love to say that we can do everything on our own. I used to wholeheartedly believe that being dependent on the people around you meant that you were too weak to do it on your own. Dependence equals fragility.
But if the last year has taught me anything, it’s that sometimes depending on your support system takes more strength than we give ourselves credit for.
In a sense, internalizing all of your problems and struggles is saying that no one else is good enough or strong enough to help you. When we start thinking this way, as positive and empowering as it seems, it is actually prideful and even detrimental to our spiritual growth.
What we can do on our own doesn’t stabilize us. It doesn’t build us up. Ultimately, it wears us down.
So this poses the question… If we cannot find strength within ourselves, where does true strength come from?
2 Corinthians 12:9-11: But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
If you have grown up in the church like myself, it is easy to skim through these verses because it seems obvious. Of course, we find strength in Christ! Of course, his grace is enough. We find so much encouragement in these words and use these words to encourage others.
But, what Paul is describing here is MUCH more valuable than just words.
We all have been stuck in a mess of branches on our own. It is a suffocating feeling having them encapsulate you. The mess consumes you because you cannot see the way out.
Isn’t it a beautiful thing that God always sees the exit route?
To him, our branches are miniscule. The biggest catastrophe in our world is tiny. To me, there is so much hope in that. How amazing is it that we serve a God who can take those branches a way with the snap of his fingers?
Even more so, because God sacrificed his only begotten Son for us, we gain access not only to the Kingdom of God, but also to God today and every day.
Christ is mediator between us and God. (1 Timothy 2:5)
That, my friends, is why his grace is sufficient for us.
We are given access to more power than we could ever possibly deserve. We can pray and God hears us! He listens. He intercedes for us. How crazy is that? I am completely star struck.
And as if he hasn’t done enough for us already, he gives us friends, family, and like-minded believers to lean on every day. Woah.
So, the next time you are covered with branches and pricked by thorns, call out to the ones you love. Pray. Seek. And most importantly, believe that God will see you through, because when it comes down to it, God will always do what he said he would do.