Over the weekend, I heard a speaker, David Cooks. At the age of 15, he was confined to a wheelchair. While he had many juicy tidbits to chew on, while telling how he continues to take on life’s challenges; my favorite was, “your ability to endure is always greater than your willingness to endure”.
Wise words! When you accepted Christ as your Savior, if you had known what it would take to walk with Christ, most of us would have run. Before marriage, if someone would have told you this was what 50 years of marriage looks like, you may have never walked the isle. The truth is we humans like being comfortable and run from pain. It’s natural.
For me, and those I fellowship with, we are afraid to even pray certain prayers because we are afraid of how God will bring it about. Because we have walked with God, we know that we know, that hardships lead to fruit and character. Yet, we still avoid hardships like the plague. Meaning, we don’t step out, because we know it will be hard, we have no idea where God will take us, and we know we like it here, right now, it’s comfortable!
I struggle with fears; feeling like God will leave me broke, homeless, and without friends. The scriptures say all of that is possible and we should consider it a blessing to suffer! We love the prosperity scriptures, but for those of us who have read all the scriptures, we know there is another side where God doesn’t value what this world has to offer, his ways are different. It is summed up in Matthew 8:20, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head”.
So, how do we go on? How do we step out in faith knowing God’s will will be met with more challenges than we want to consider, let alone endure? After years of an exhausting battle considering this very question, living fearful and with anxiety, for me, it comes down to three things. David’s inspiring talk reminded me of these truths.
- I have lived in God’s will and I have lived outside of God’s will. I would rather be without a home and in God’s will than in a mansion living outside of His will. I’ve been blessed that this test has never been required of me.
- I had to take some time to study God’s character. I was using human deduction (and my own experience and perspective) to work through a question that had a God sized logic. Understanding (as much as my small brain can), the depth of His love, His majesty, and His consistency, has led me to different conclusions than fear and anxiety.
- There is nothing fruitful about sitting in fear and anxiety. As soon as I start to fret, in any way. For me, it is usually a dialogue in my head that is on repeat, “you are not enough”, “you will be an epic burden to those around you”, “you will never break this bondage”. I either You Tube a worship song or I get some scripture in front of me. To be honest, it can be any scripture. I can read Leviticus and get the same result as I get by reading Romans 8:31. because the Word is TRUTH, and as soon as I start reading TRUTH, my spiritual barometer discards all that is not true (fear and anxiety), and I am centered and at peace.
-Stacy Kageff: Volunteer Coordinator and author of God at Work
You can purchase David Cooks book, Getting Undressed, from paralysis to purpose at www.davidcooksspeaks.com