Growing older is a very painful and yet a blessing. Many of us complain about the aches and pains of getting older, the lack of energy of getting older, the weaknesses of getting older, and often- times the many illnesses that come from getting older. I have found myself thinking that my body has been abducted by alien forces because of its unwillingness to do some of the things it used too. My mind is saying YES but my body is rolling its eyes at me. As I get older I find myself giving myself more pep talks to keep pressing forward. Do any of you have those days when you are at odds within yourself? You know you should be doing more but you find yourself doing less. And unfortunately, most of us end up giving up on taking on more exercise, or an activity that requires more movement than we are used too, or in the biggest case talking ourselves out of great blessings because we do not want to endure the work that goes along with the blessings. The sad thing is, we are always faced with situations internally and externally that pushes us forward or in many cases make us paralyzed enough to quit. We give up on our goals, our dreams, our families, our GOD and ourselves. But, today I am here to tell you that I am giving up giving up.
“But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.” 2 Chronicles 15:7
These last few weeks have been riddled with bad news. I have heard about more deaths or illnesses in a small span of time, than any other time I can think of. Whether near or far, we all have been struggling or overcoming something. The daily need to give up is unbearable at times, but in times like these I find myself thinking about the story of Job. I know, many of you have read the story and/or know of what I am referring and if you are not familiar then I recommend you read the story of Job. How do we stand when everything is crumbling around us? How do we face a life without stuff, without people, without all we thought we held dear? Therefore, the story of Job is so relatable to me. No, I have not lost all my family members tragically, but I have lost some family members. No, I have not lost all my possessions suddenly, but I have lost things. No, I have not had to face the utter despair of having everything one day and losing everything the next. But, I have felt like I had my whole life planned out with my hopes and dreams in rainbow colors before me, to have all those colors suddenly turn to gray, dense clouds of hopelessness and uncertainty. Many of you, are smiling on the outside but weeping on the inside. I am asking for you to give up giving up, because God continues to work overtime on your behalf. He turns impossible situations into stepping stones of freedom. Believe me, I know.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.” Hebrews 12:1-13
If Job could endure the unimaginable, then why can’t we? I face giving up on myself all the time because family members have told me to, friends have told me to, the media has told me to, my situations have told me to, my body tells me to and then the enemy uses all those poked holes to get a stronghold in my faith. Not happening! One thing I know for certain is that my life is better and more satisfying with Jesus than without Him. I can get false information from anywhere, but my spirit has been set free from the bondage of this crazy world because I realized who’s I was.
Lastly, I challenge you today despite your aches and pains, ups and downs, victories and losses to always strive to give up giving up. Yes, our bodies are not permanent, our jobs are not permanent, our relationships are not permanent, nor our homes permanent. But, there is something that is eternal, and that is God’s love and hope for you. He did not give up when they mocked him, so why should you? He did not give up when they spit on him, why should you? He did not give up when they beat him, why should you? He did not give up even when they killed him, so why should you? If I can face the day with gladness then I challenge you to do the same. I love you and God Loves you too. You got this!