When the assignments are too arduous, the emotions too burdensome, the schedule too packed, the future too uncertain, the enemy too fierce… when you’re tempted to quit, hopefully, you’ll have a friend who tells you not to. They’ll tell you to keep breathing. And you’ll be inclined to listen.
~Steven Furtick, pastor of Elevation Church
My last several years have been a quite the ride. There have been times when I’ve wanted to quit. As in quit everything. Curl up in a ball, stay in bed, stop breathing, quit. A few things in my world stirred up a fight like I’d never known and certainly never wanted. The fight is exhausting and the referee of life threatens me with the 3 count. My will to fight comes partially from a few close friends cheering me on, reminding me to rest, and sometimes pushing me back into the ring. But it also comes from knowing the One who is faithful, the one who is present, the one who is hope.
“…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31
Doesn’t that scripture sound nice? It does sound nice and it’s also TRUE! It is because I know it’s true, that I live to fight another day. I’m not fighting alone. Even if I didn’t have friends cheering me on, God would still be enough. He is all I need. He is all you need.
In a message by Dr. Ed Young at Second Baptist Houston, he showed a picture of Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam. The title intrigues me. In this painting, Adam is fully created but clearly, he’s still being created. Fully created body but a heart that is very much still being created. Michelangelo’s insight was most definitely not limited to his painting abilities.
Dr. Young explained that something that is not commonly discussed about this painting is that God is reaching, stretching, towards Adam. Every muscle taught. Reaching out to Adam so much so that He’s holding on to the angels to keep Him steady. And Adam? Well, he’s reclining, relaxing. Hmmm…
Look at the fingers. God’s finger completely outstretched. Adams? All Adam had to do to touch God is to sit up just a bit and extend his finger just a little bit more. It kind of makes me want to scream at him, “You lazy bum!” … But um, I am Adam.
Sometimes in our fight, we need someone to tell us to hang in there for one more day, one more hour, one more minute. We need to remember that God is stretched out when we’re stressed out. So if that’s you and you’re reading this and you’re tempted to quit, let me be that friend who tells you, “Don’t. Please don’t.” God is near. So very near. He’s longing for you to grab a hold of him. To stretch out your finger. Just a little bit more. He’s done a lot to get to you but that one last little bit, it’s your choice.
The sun is about to rise. The victory is just right there. Stay in it. Keep fighting. Keep breathing. Reach.