Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Today I am reflecting. Scary I know but I am thinking of the overcomer's that I have witnessed in my life. Those fighting for their lives, those who take risks to be seen for who they truly are, those who married at 16 & this year will celebrate 46years of marriage, a girl who beat the odds of teenage pregnancy, no college & has a successful career. How do these overcomer's overcome? Maybe it's determination, never giving up, and attitude. Or maybe it's their extreme faith while clinging to the words God has written. I am not completely sure all aspects of what sets these individuals apart. What drives them? What is this hope that's buried deep in their soul? I'm not sure some days but may we all find it. For me I think it's getting up every time you are knocked down.
Yesterday we lost a true overcomer in our community. This sweet ladies attitude, humor, sweet spirit, and her "no quitting attitude" has impacted lives of everyone she met. What a great display of Angel's walking among us. She's completely whole today standing with the God who created her and I know He welcomed her in saying well done my good and faithful servant.
Then there's that video of a goth looking young man who gets on a stage to sing for the first time ever. Even his parents had no idea he could sing. The music begins to play sweet soft sounds then from nowhere you hear opera coming from his vocal cords. Self taught, hiding his talent under a bushel, afraid, but courage springs forth and he receives a standing ovation. He overcame that fear of rejection.
Then the young couple who eloped at 16 that had no clue about life, marriage, love, and how it all works but this year celebrates 46 years of marriage. Not to mention the obstacles they overcame as they raise a family, juggle working, drug/alcohol addiction, and bankruptcy. How does that work? How do you overcome such struggles? Persistence, determination, faith, hope, and Grace of God?
Yet in our day to day we can't get off the couch to exercise, we can't put down the cheeseburger, and we can't fight through our pain. Always wanting to run from our problems yet can't put on our tennis shoes to run around the neighborhood. Or maybe that's only me. It's funny how we can overcome a life of poverty but we can't help others or how we don't want someone to judge us but we can't get the log out of our own eye. Our tongue. The unruly little beast that spouts evil one minute then turns words into sugar. You know like syrupy sugar that sits at the bottom of southern sweet tea. Life & death are in the power of the tongue. How can we overcome that?
I'm not convinced of how it all works because I struggle daily. I have overcome a lot in my life and my struggles are different from others. Lately I can only breathe deeply, take one step at a time, work hard to stay in today, and trust. Trust that when Everything around me is in chaos God is there saying peace be still. I work hard to be thankful in all things but some days that's harder than others. How can we be overcomer's in our day to day, in our difficult struggles, & in deep pain. I heard a preacher use this phrase and it just stuck: the deep pain of life prepares you for the deep love of God.
Be a fighter, be an overcomer, be hopeful, be an encourager, be a lover, be a grace giver, love from every fiber of your being, speak words that give life. I think Romans 12 really says it all:
Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality. Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody. Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.” Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good. (Romans 12:9-21 MSG)
Fight to be an overcomer... That's what it is going to take.. We must fight...
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: (2 Timothy 4:7 KJV)