Don't Give Up

This morning I got up early and headed up to deck 10 to take a walk. Last year I sailed on this boat and I remembered how beautiful the morning sun was on the water. I took along my music, put on my sunglasses, new shoes and headed out the door As soon as I arrived on deck 10 and the doors slid open I felt a blast a wind hit my face. I headed out to the track and turned left. Immediately the wind hit my back, propelling me forward. I held onto my phone a little tighter as I realized the wind could whip it from my hand. As I got to the rear of the ship and passed across the back, I had a moment of reprieve as the night club on deck 11 blocked the wind.

Then I headed directly into the sun and the most intense windstorm.

It takes a lot more determination to walk when the wind is in your face. I had to lean in and press forward in order to make it all the way around the deck. It wasn’t as beautiful this time because I couldn’t really concentrate on the scenery because I was focusing on one foot in front of the other.

Then I rounded the front corner and the wind hit my back again. At first I thought this will be easier. But then a big gust came and I almost stumbled. I could feel the wind shove me forward, pressing me to go faster than I wanted to go.

Circle after circle around the deck I felt the wind swirl, blow and rage all around me. It made threatening noises and disturbed my peace. I put my eyes on the steps in front of me and just kept moving forward. I was determined to get my four laps in for the day.

As I walked I thought about how I’ve been feeling the past few days. As I am coming off the steroids I am experiencing the low that follows the high. I am easily tired and find myself crashing by mid-afternoon. Forget staying up late – it’s practically painful. To top it off, I’m still not sleeping through the night. I’m frustrated by my bodies lack of rebound and I just want to feel good. I find that a tired body speaks so loudly and constantly reminds me of my weakness.

it began to occur to me that my walk around the deck was a picture of how I am feeling in the spirit and a really good illustration of spiritual warfare.  In my own life, I feel the wind of resistance.  I can’t see it, but I can feel it. And just about the time I think I’ve broken through and gotten a reprieve, it seems I turn my face straight into the wind again. I have to build strength by overcoming the resistance and I have to be resolute in my determination to keep going.  I want it to be beautiful sunrises and great scenery but usually it's more like a threatening storm.

Spiritual warfare is a real thing. You have a real enemy. And he is relentless, cruel and sneaky. He wants you to struggle against the wind, striking at enemies you can’t see, being overcome by forces that are invisible. He wants to intimidate you and he wants to threaten you. He wants us to give up.

On lap three I glanced up and saw three friends right in front of me who were on their own walk. Suddenly I felt a little lighter and I was grateful to make my final lap with them. The wind, the noise and pressure bothered me so much less. I easily finished the final stretch.

Maybe you can relate to my spiritual walk. Maybe you been feeling like the wind is blowing you every which way and trying its best to knock you down, hold you back or force you to advance too quickly. You’ve been concentrated on staying on your feet and pressing through to the end goal.

Now look up.  All around us are encouragers and helpers - others on a similar journey - who are willing to walk with you.

I’m grateful for the grace of God in the midst of the storms of life. I find every morning He meets me with grace for today. (By the way – I have no grace for tomorrow or next week. I only have manna for today and that’s all you’ve got too.) Just when I want to give up or even consider believing a lie, he sends a friend to walk with me. Sometimes the friend is a sister, my husband or even my kids. Sometimes he reminds me I am never alone and the Holy Spirit is companion enough for me.

So I finished my four rounds, hurried back to my room and started drafting this note to you.

Remember, it’s just wind. Don't give up.  Just keep walking.

Love,

Jan