July 7, 2008
“I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made.
But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ,
who has so wondrously reached out for me.
Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this,
but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus.
I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back.” Philippians 3:12-14 (MSG)
After several months of continuous stress and challenges, I felt like giving up and saying, “This is just too hard, God. Find someone else for this assignment!”
Then, through an adorable little girl, God gave me encouragement to press on.
One-year-old Catherine is learning to walk. She takes a few wobbly steps and then falls down. She sits for a minute, as if to gather her determination, and then she pushes herself back up on her little legs. With each step Catherine attempts, we cheer her on like it’s the greatest thing we’ve ever seen, as if we’ve never seen anyone walk before.
Then, when Catherine is getting tired or frustrated, her mom reaches down and holds her little hand. Catherine looks up at her mom, where she finds just the extra encouragement she needs to push herself back up and keep going. One wobbly step after another.
I think that’s how God looks at us. Even our wobbly, uncertain steps please Him. He will never give up on us, and He will never be disdainful of our imperfect attempts to obey Him. He sees our hearts, which want to please Him, and He cares much more about our surrendered hearts than our perfect performance.
When we feel discouraged, frustrated or tired, we need to fix our eyes on Jesus where we’ll find just what we need to press on.
Dear Lord, You know just how I feel. I feel discouraged, tired, and overwhelmed. I find such comfort in realizing that You know all about my feelings and all about my circumstances. As I set my eyes on You rather than my problems or my imperfect performance, I thank You that you will give me strength to press on and not to turn back. Thank You for holding my hand and walking with me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
The Seven Hardest Things God Asks a Woman to Do by Kathie Reimer and Lisa Whittle
What a Husband Needs from His Wife by Melanie Chitwood
Pray about the challenge you’re facing that threatens to discourage you. Sometimes we think about the challenges, but we forget actually to pray about them. As you pray, hold out your hand. Imagine Jesus taking your hand in His and walking with you.
When we face challenges, we have a tendency to do one of the following: to give up entirely, or to keep trying harder in our own efforts. Which do you tend to do?
Do you think you’re facing the challenges in your life the way God wants you to?
Psalm 37:24 “When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.” (NASB)
Hebrews 12:2, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (NIV)
© 2008 by Melanie Chitwood. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Monday, 07 July 2008.