WHAT I MUST DO IF I’M GOING TO MAKE IT
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures, we might have hope. Romans 15:4
Scripture is more a heart thing than it is food for the intellect. Yet, because of my early mentors, I approached God’s Word as if it were for my thoughts only. Meanwhile, my heart languished and I wondered if I could go on.
While I am currently not in a place of hopelessness, I realize that you may be. Life has temporarily come apart. You are exhausted and out of the fight to survive. You are waiting for someone to come along and impart supernatural strength. There is no one offering it to you. There can be no one to offer enough of what you need. So what must a man or woman do to make it?
We must not read the first line of Paul’s words and stop. The scriptures were written to supply what the heart needs to make it and thrive. Courage and perseverance are the outgrowth of living in the stories, instruction, and promises of scripture.
How does it work? When I’m running on empty; physically, spiritually, and emotionally, I come to Jesus and cry out for help. I ask Him to open my heart to His Word. I ask Him to do, supernaturally, what must be done so that His strength will override my weakness, so that His words will override my self-talk, so that His promises will override my helplessness. Then, prayerfully, I ask God to take me to the scriptures that are to be mine for that day. They may be the next few verses in the book that I’m currently studying or reading. Or, He may whisper the name of another book entirely. If I ask, He leads me to water.
I stay on a verse until I feel something! If I don’t feel hope stirring and the faint embers of an extinguished fire burning again, I stay put. I confess my sin of unbelief and keep asking the Spirit to give me life where there is none. I know He will do it. He lives inside of me – so how can He not respond as I meditate on His very words? He will react emotionally to His own words.
Jesus did not leave any of us as orphans. When He left this earth, He knew we would feel abandoned. So, He assured us that He would come to us in a better form. He wouldn’t just be available externally, to share a meal with or travel with from one town to another. He would come to live internally. No limits to our intimacy. No limits to accessibility. And when I engage with the Letter He has written to me, He responds viscerally. I can feel it. I get up from my knees and my favorite chair with a new sense of strength.
So, let me assure you. You can make it. If you are God’s, He is fully invested in you. The Word you need is near you.
Daily strength. It’s not a cliché. It’s whispered promises between lovers. Amen