Encouragement

If We Could Just See

 

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There are times in life when circumstances descend like a cloud, obscuring our vision. We’re exhausted from striving, surrounded by sharks seeking to pull us down. The cold penetrates our hearts, paralyzes our hope. If we could just see how close we are to reaching our goal, we wouldn’t be so tempted to give up.

 

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When the Fog Gets Thick

Blog_FogJust a half mile away from breaking a world record, Florence Chadwick gave up. She’d swum for nearly 16 hours in frigid water, surrounded by sharks and desperately exhausted, the fog so thick she couldn’t see the support boats that trailed behind her. The following day, she told reporters “I’m not excusing myself, but if I could have seen land I know I could have made it.”

Had the fog not obscured her vision, she would at that time have become the first woman to swim the 21-mile Catalina Channel. It wasn’t the cold or the sharks, or the fatigue that caused her to quit. It was the inability to see her goal, so close before her.

I’ve been in fog so thick that driving conditions were dangerous. It was almost impossible to tell if I was even driving in the right lane, or on the road at all. I wanted to pull over, but couldn’t see if the road had a shoulder or a steep drop. All I could do was keep moving forward and hope the fog would lift before I crashed into something.

There are times in life when circumstances descend like a cloud, obscuring our vision. We’re exhausted from striving, surrounded by sharks seeking to pull us down. The cold penetrates our hearts, paralyzes our hope. If we could just see how close we are to reaching our goal, we wouldn’t be so tempted to give up.

Maybe you already have given up.

The good news is, two months after her first attempt, Chadwick swam those same frigid, shark-infested waters. The fog was just as thick, the journey equally exhausting. But this time, she did not give up.

If you feel like quitting, don’t. You don’t know how close you are to your breakthrough. And if you have given up, remember Florence Chadwick. It may be just as difficult the second time around, but it will be worth it.

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” (Galatians 6:9)

A Life Without Rain

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A life without rain is a life without life. Nothing grows without rain. Nothing lives without rain. As much as it may disrupt our plans, much more would be disrupted without it.

 

Photo Credit: Free picture: road, summer season, trees, woods, flowers, fog

The Purpose for Rain

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When trying circumstances come like rain into our lives, we need a change of perspective. The rain’s not here to devour, it’s here to bring life. If you’re in the midst of a storm, just wait it out…and believe. New life will spring up in due season.

 

Photo Credit: Waiting out the rain under a tree (5217038792).jpg

The Moment We Get Tired

Blog_DesertRoad

“Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” (Romans 8:28, MSG)

 

Source: Redefining Perfect

Photo Credit: Desert Road | A road in Arizona | Chris Bickham | Flickr

I Spy Love

If we open our eyes, we will find God’s love…even in the deepest of darkness.

Source: I Spy Love

Glimpses of Spring

Blog_FlowersInSnowIf you live in the Midwest, it’s not a good idea to pack away your thermals for the summer or to box up your t-shirts for the winter. Weather-wise, you never know what you’ll get out here. You could be wearing flip-flops in February and long johns in July. It wasn’t long ago that Snowmageddon hit and we were snowed in for a good chunk of winter. This year, it seems everyone’s been outside jogging in their shorts since the end of January.

In my perfect world, winter would last from Thanksgiving to a few days after New Years. We’d have five months of spring, a few weeks of summer, and five months of fall. It’s not that I don’t like winter or summer, just not the extreme temperatures that come with them.

Unfortunately, we don’t live in my perfect world. Winter typically comes a little too early and stays way too late. Summer gets impatient and takes over before spring has a chance to say goodbye. And fall’s colors never stick around long enough. But, like I said, there are always surprises.

This has been a winter of surprises, with a relatively mild January, and February racking in a record number of above average temperatures. Still, we all know it’s not over yet. Though in a few short weeks the calendar will tell us it’s officially spring, we can’t get too confident. Winter might decide it’s hungry for a few flowers.

Despite the inconsistencies of Midwestern weather systems, I refuse to complain. Spring has fought a good fight already, breaking through into winter…giving glimpses of things to come.

Life has it’s own seasons. Too often we linger in frigid cold. Yet in the midst, God intervenes, bringing glimpses of spring as a reminder that winter will come to an end. Spring is like hope. It’s heaven breaking through, reminding us that there is a glory that far outweighs our light and momentary trials here on this earth.