Wednesday, October 11, 2023

What Do You Fight For?


I haven't really felt like writing much lately.  But this morning, I felt the familiar pull to sit down and give it a go again.

I'm not really sure what that means.  Just waiting for God to speak.

It's about 5AM on a Wednesday.  Been up since 4; read a little, scrolled a little; fed the dog and cats; made coffee; and emptied the dishwasher.  Nothing exciting.  Just the usual and normal routine tasks.

My heart has been hurting.  I have not shared my hurt with anyone, except for one close girlfriend.  I can't even speak about my heart hurt.  Feels like different day, same cycle.

Have you ever been in that type of situation?

It feels like your hands are tied.  Nothing more to say.  You have spoken your heart's desire; it has been denied.  You have shared something intimate and personal; it was mocked.  So why keep trying?  Nothing changes, and you end up feeling defeated, alone, and not worth any kind of place or fight.  So you retreat, pray, and hope for change.

Except change doesn't come.

You can't make people change.  You can't make people put you first.  I'm not even trying to create a change - that would be wrong in and of itself.  But sometimes, in our relationships - things need to be normal and right - and eventually the unevenness just won't straighten out.  And then, you can't hold your balance anymore.  You fall off the balance beam and this time, you don't put your hand up to ask for help to get back up on the balance beam.  You are just numb from being on the uneven balance beam for so long.  You just want to sit on the floor mat and be still for a minute.

And then you realize, while sitting there, no hand is reaching down to pick you up.  And that's where life gets tough.  It's just you down on the mat, by yourself, and under the beam of unevenness.

The person who was on the balance beam with you isn't reaching down to help you back up. Why is that?  I don't know.

Maybe they like the unevenness of the balance beam; they've grown accustomed to it and it feels normal to them.  That's the only footing they've ever known.

They want you on the uneven beam with them, but they want you to like the unevenness - adjust to it like they have.  They've lost the capacity to understand what normal really is, and getting off that balance beam is not an option for them.

So, when you get choose to remove yourself from this uneven beam and move to a more solid and steady ground, they will let you go.  They will let you stay there instead of choosing to go with you and enjoy the fruits of being on truly solid ground.

Some people are like that.  They will take the ups and downs of life and adjust to them, saying that is their normal.  They never understand that under that uneven balance beam of life is a solid and sturdy mat waiting for them where they can walk freely and be grounded. A place where they can enjoy life, serve better, and have more room to walk openly and freely.  A place where growth, joy, and serving others can be found all co-mingling with each other.

At times like this, when I am on the mat alone, I tend to turn inside myself and at the very same time, reach up to Heaven.  I pray, read, and seek answers.  Then, I pick myself up off the mat, dust off my britches, and keep going.  It's all I know how to do.

You can't make people join you on a walk of steadiness.  You can only say, "I have to get off this balance beam.  I can't balance anymore."  

It is my prayer that your walk - and mine - become more steady.  That the people I choose for my life - and you for yours - are steady as well.  I don't want to walk the steady path alone, but living a life of constant balancing isn't right either.  When you are living on a balance beam, you are one step from falling off.  You are always trying to maintain and stay atop the beam.  That's not healthy, and I don't believe that's what God wants for us either.

Peter tried balancing once.  He started to sink.

God gives us people in our lives, and He gives us our faith to ground us and keep us centered.  We have to be strong and keep our eyes on Him.  When we start trying to please everyone around us, we jump up on a balance beam and try to stay atop of it.  We precariously take each step, hoping it's a good one.  A right choice.  That we remain balanced and on top of the beam.  But it's always a guess and a calculation.  It's not freedom and sure footing.

I believe God wants us on the mat below the balance beam.  On the mat, there is solid footing.  We can take our steps with confidence.  We keep our eyes focused ahead and upward.

On the balance beam, we walk alone.  There is room for only you.

On the floor mat, we walk together.  There is room for all.

2 Chronicles says, "For the battle is not yours, but God's." I've had to learn that Scripture the hard way too many times in my 57 years of living.

I am so weary right now.  My heart hurts.

But - It's not my fight.  I have fought.  I have made my desires known.  I have shared intimate thoughts and feelings, but the battle is not mine.  

So this morning, I am on the mat - where there is solid footing.  My eyes are focused ahead and upward.

The only hand reaching down for me today is from Jesus.  I know He fought for me, and He continues that fight every moment of every day.  He has fought for all of us.  

Jesus left a perfect and Heavenly home to become one of us.  He was despised and rejected.  The world around Him killed Him.  But He fought and lived His life for all of us, because He loved us!

Jesus served so many people while He walked the earth.  He kept his feet on the mat, and solid ground, His entire ministry.  He never walked the beam alone trying to keep balance between all the things in His life.

He kept His eyes on the prize ahead of him.  The master plan His Heavenly Father had set before Him.  Death, burial, & resurrection!

There is so much going on in the world today, right now.  So much hate.  God's people are suffering again.  The Bible tells us Israel will always have conflict, and the whole world will hate them.  That doesn't lessen the hurt we are seeing daily across the internet.

Our hearts may be hurting and carrying much from within our own little bubbles, but keep your feet steady and on the ground.  God has a bigger agenda, and we are needed to not only heal our own hearts and lives, but to also help Israel.  They need our prayers.

In that respect, the International Mission Board has released an excellent resource for praying for Israel.  Thank you to First Baptist Cumming for posting and sharing the link.  Click PRAY FOR ISRAEL to visit the IMB website, download the resource, and to pray very specific Scripture for Israel.  Remember, "Where two or more are gathered..."

Have a blessed day.

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