Keep fighting…but know you are not alone in the fight. Do you keep things that are bothering you to yourself? I find myself doing that sometimes. Even though I know, I have friends and family who will pray for me and with me.
We all go through low times or a season of feeling off; thankfully, they are few and far between. Sometimes we must go through the valley to get to the next, and sometimes higher, mountaintop. There are also times when the enemy will try to keep us down. He does not want us to share our concerns with others because it makes his job easier.
On the run recently, on a morning, the wind was particularly gusty; at one point, in a straight stretch, it felt as if someone had their hand on my forehead holding me back, almost like I was running in place, not making any progress. It can feel the same way when the enemy is interfering – I had another group leader tell me recently that she felt like someone had both hands on her shoulders, weighing her down. Have you ever felt like that?
In these times, we must share our burdens and pray, using the spiritual weapons God gives us. (Putting on the whole armor of God and always praying in the spirit (Eph. 6:11-18, ESV). The enemy must flee by the power of the Holy Spirit in Jesus’s name. Jesus is already a victor over death, the grave, and the devil. We can rely on His strength when we are weak.
When I finally blurted out what was troubling me to a trusted friend, the load was lighter because I was no longer carrying it alone. Saying it aloud makes it lose its power and no longer fester inside us. We are not supposed to go it alone. A threefold cord is not quickly broken (Eccl. 4:12, ESV).
This reminded me of the homeplace where I grew up –a bank in our front yard was covered in deep purple irises. When I got older and moved next door, I wanted to dig up a few for my yard, so I tried to divide the many years’ worth of entangled roots to separate them. Even though iris roots are not deeply rooted and are sometimes ‘exposed,’ they intertwine to create a dense mat. Let’s say I didn’t get as many as I had planned. On the other hand, sunflowers can go ten feet deep and branch out. Both grow best in full sun.
We, too, grow best in the full light of the Son. When we feel exposed, it is a time to join forces with others, encourage and help carry one another’s burdens (Heb. 10: 23-25; I Thes. 5:11; James 5:16, ESV). We can stand firm on the promises of God. Jesus promises to always be with us (Matt. 28:20, ESV). May we be deeply rooted and grounded in love (Eph. 3:17, ESV) as we fight the good fight together (I Tim. 6:12, ESV).
The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving (Ps. 28:7, emphasis mine).