I’ve been trying to achieve balance in my life for a while now. When we shut our business down I poured myself into writing and ministering to others. I didn’t like the idea of not having a job and contributing. I needed to feel useful. However, somewhere along the way I forgot to enjoy life. My sense of joy and wonder got a bit crushed beneath life’s waves. When I realized this I started to think about physical goals as well as spiritual ones. It’s been such a struggle, but the Lord keeps giving me everything I need.
Why is balance so hard? Is it just me? As I’m trying to work on the physical side of things, I’m struggling with my spiritual goals now. It isn’t simply my focus. I do put effort in there. I want that, but I struggle to concentrate, and my brain can fail to absorb things. There’s more to it than that, but it would only sound like a long list of complaints.
I’m trying to cling to God, but somedays it feels as if I’m barely holding on. That’s not like me, so it’s been a difficult part of the journey. Thankfully, He never let’s go. He never loses sight of us either. I do see Him working as I struggle to seek His face.
I went out to run/walk up my steps one day and training came to mind. I always feel as if I’m training for something, but I can never figure out what. What is God preparing me for?
One day I went out feeling quite discouraged and asked myself, Why do I keep doing this? I keep upping my steps too. I keep increasing the goal. But repetition can become tedious and some routines can become a struggle, especially when discouragement sets in and hope begins to fade.
I sat down to pray one day and I felt the same way about prayer that morning. It felt so hard. My first prayer was a question: Lord why is this so hard? Was it this hard for You? It must have been so difficult.
Of course it must have been hard for Jesus. Immediately this verse came to mind:
“Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”Hebrews 12:3 (NIV)
I didn’t know what to do with this. I got a bit lost in the waves again, but God…. There’s always a “But God.” After a tearful morning prayer He reminded me through His precious messengers of hope about self-discipline and obedience. He also reminded me of the benefits of both. It was a bit of a kick in the pants, but it was the most loving and gentle kick in the pants. Better than being kicked in the shins. (Laughing…)
Why is self-discipline important? Self-discipline sets us up to achieve our goals. Without discipline we give up on things far too easily. However, if we keep going we get to find out what’s on the other side of all of our efforts and claim that prize.
Obedience is just as important. Obeying God not only helps us, but it also helps others to get where they need to be as well. God truly does work all things together for good to those who love Him.
Sometimes I can’t pick myself up and dust myself off on my own. I do need all of the help He provides. I’m thankful for those gifts of grace. So I will continue to press on towards all of my goals.
A special thanks to these messengers of hope: