After spending a couple of hours on a specific task with a specific goal and getting nowhere except frustrated and annoyed, I gave up. At least for now anyway. Perhaps it’s my ignorance or lack of skills causing my wheels to spin, or maybe it’s simply a stop sign telling me to wait.
Pushing through obstacles when there’s a stop sign only causes crashes. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t push through struggles. The title of this blog site clearly indicates my belief otherwise. However, some struggles exist to change our direction or path, some exist to get us to stop and wait for traffic to clear, and others are meant to simply be pushed through.
Exercise has been a part of my life since I was a teenager. Yet, no matter what method, intensity, or frequency I choose, my body cannot handle the level of exercise I envision as ideal. My body continually, mostly through injury and fatigue, sends me messages letting me know what I can and cannot handle.
I’ve had to significantly change direction regarding exercise, and my view of victory in that area has had to change too. Sometimes we must take a different route to our planned destination. And sometimes, the destination must change.
Stop and Wait
Along the road to any victory, there are places we need to stop and wait. The waiting was often just for the traffic to clear before moving forward, but sometimes it is to recalculate the route and choose a completely different path. Always, it seems, the stopping is for my benefit. Sometimes, I needed to rest and refuel, and sometimes I need to be protected from the huge truck barreling through the intersection. I also sometimes need to realize I am completely the wrong way and that my choices were simply mistakes.
When I hit 30, my health began to decline. Doctor after doctor and diagnosis after diagnosis and only symptoms were being treated. I knew there was a root cause, and I was determined to find it. After 10 years of struggling and pushing, the cause was pinpointed, and the road to victory discovered. Had I not pushed through the many obstacles, my health would still be on the decline.
Some struggles serve to test our persistence as we push through them to victory. Stopping is simply not an option. As we hit dead ends along the way, we did need to change routes and pursue the victory waiting at the end of the road. We just need to figure out the right road.
God in the Struggle
God does not allow temptations we cannot bear without giving us a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13). He either gives us a way to bear it (i.e., push or struggle through) or another route to follow.
He also wants us to rest in him instead of relying on ourselves. He wants us to stop and bask in His protection and grace and allow Him to be Lord of our lives.
“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10).
Victory waits on the other side of a struggle, though it is often not achieved the way we envision. It rarely looks exactly how we imagined it would when we get there, either.
In daily stillness before God. In the perfection of His Word. In the act of spinning our wheels. God is there directing traffic. Signs are Everywhere. We simply must take time to see and obey them.