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.
I’m borrowing this image today from 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, quit. A few things in my world stirred a up a fight like I’d never known and certainly never wanted. The fight was exhausting and the referee of life threatened me with the 3 count, but I’m thankful I didn’t quit. My will to fight comes partially from a few close friends cheering me on (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 that it is 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 recent message by our pastor, 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 extend his finger just a little. It kind of makes me want to scream at him. The lazy bum. But ummm, that would be me. Would that be you?
Sometimes in our fight we need someone to tell us to hang in there for one more day, one more hour, one more minute. 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.
The sun is about to rise. The victory is just right there. Stay up. Keep fighting.