Monday, July 1, 2013

Don't Quit

The last few weeks have been a bit of a roller coaster...losing my grandma and helping my children walk through grief, while attempting to do it myself. The weather..or should I say the rain. The crops, the ones our family depends on, that we have yet to plant or will need to replant. 

This roller coaster ride lately has felt like one big climb. It seems we're going up a hill and can't see the top. 

I'll be honest, there have been days when the walk has been hard. I've been tempted to not walk at all, to just quit. 

Those words might surprise you...this is Jill, the one who did what others said they couldn't, the one who spoke at her grandma's funeral and claimed God would carry us through.

And friend, if this doesn't surprise you, I want you to know it has surprised me. The feelings of doubt and desire to quit have compounded the pain I was already experiencing. Some of my old insecurities, that had gotten better, have been resurfacing and that hurts me too. 

I don't want to doubt God, question His goodness or analyze His plan, but I have.

And though that surprises me and maybe even you, it didn't surprise God. He knows me, He knows my thoughts and He loves me anyway. Though my circumstances change and even I do too, He never does. 

I'll admit, I've been down, perhaps even a bit depressed and drifting from the Lord I love, but He is at work. He is drawing me near, whispering to my heart and bringing others alongside who are praying me through.

I've been reminded it's easier to believe God and press on in faith when I remember who He is. The other day a friend sent a message that did just that. She said, "Praying Isaiah 40 for you:

Do you not know, Jill?
    Have you not heard?
I AM the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
I will not grow tired or weary,
    and My understanding no one can fathom. 

I give strength to the weary
    and increase the power of the weak. 

Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall; 

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."

Let's just say God said much through this! The truth is in this life I, and you too, will grow tired and get weary, we may even be tempted to quit, BUT GOD...He does not grow tired or weary. He never quits! Friends, He is everlasting, He is strength, He is power, He is good and He is sovereign. 

God's Word and my friend's prayers reminded me to put my HOPE in the LORD. He is the One who will renew me. 

When I seek Him, when I intentionally look for Him, He is there and His presence and power does renew me. Yesterday a complete stranger shared a verse with me, one that he said was for me. I heard God as he read from Psalms 103:5, "He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!" 

Hours earlier a friend had prayed about me soaring on wings like eagles and now a stranger was sharing about God filling my life with good things and me being renewed like the eagle. Coincidence? I don't think so.

Once again God had my attention so I proceeded to look up Psalms 103...read these first 5 verses, 

"Praise the Lord, my soul;
    all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
    and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s."

Again God was speaking and telling me what I needed to do - praise Him and remember the benefits He provides! He wants me to do these things SO THAT I will be renewed, which means I will regain my inner strength and resolve to pursue God. When I focus on Him, seek Him and worship Him, I won't want to quit, and friend neither will you!

Today will you join in me in fighting the good fight and pressing on toward the prize as we seek the Lord? I pray my story has encouraged you and if you've been tempted to quit, I hope you've been reminded that God will never quit on you and He will strengthen you as walk in faith...even when it seems uphill.

"Who satisfies your mouth [your necessity and desire at your personal age and situation] with good so that your youth, renewed, is like the eagle’s [strong, overcoming, soaring]!" (Psalms 103:5 Amplified)

7 comments:

  1. I was just thinking about you. So glad I stopped by. I think we all walk through seasons where we just want to quit. I am so sorry this has been one of those times for you. How thankful I am for a God who encourages us through His Word and through those around us to press on and to continue trusting in Him.

    He brought me back across a passage that was a favorite of mine during a hard season...
    "The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!" Habbakuk 3:19, Amplified

    Praying for you, friend, as He continues to help you walk forward with Him. Love you!!!

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  2. Jill such beautiful thoughts from the heart. They blessed me so much! Lost my Mom Valentine's week this year. Been trying to get through estate sales and being the one in charge and two sisters thinking different and we were making progress finally and now one of my brother in laws has cancer and I came down with cold, sinus or something with fever so now we lost this weekend. But I know God reigns, He is in control and this will all happen in His time, not mine. I am joining you in fighting the good fight because some days for a moment I want to question, I want to give up - but we will continue to seek His faith together. Thanks so much! Debbie W. (OBS Facebook Group Leader)

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  3. Jill, I agree about your beautiful thoughts. They have blessed me also. This is my first time visiting and I am so thrilled I stopped by. It is a fight of the good fight isn't it. I just love the verses you picked and I have been very encouraged. Keep up the awesome work. Feel free to stop by my blog anytime. I would love to get to know you better Sweet Sister.

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  4. Thank you for sharing your heart and struggles so openly and honestly Jill. I'm sorry for your loss. My prayers go out to you.

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  5. Jill, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! I'm so sorry you lost your grandmother and have been feeling depressed. But, I'm happy you are pressing on and fighting the good fight, and sharing the verses that have encouraged you. I don't know if you made it to the conference call that Wendy did this week, but she mentioned God talking to us through recurring themes in our life--and it sounds exactly like you've picked up on that!!

    Kris (OBS Small Group Leader)

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  6. Forget not His benefits- how wonderful! When we remember, really think on all He has done... it is through this that we are able to keep going, even though we want to quit. Beautiful blog! Thank you for sharing!!!
    Lauren, OBS Small Group Leader

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  7. Thank you for sharing "Praying Isaiah 40" with us! Glad to read you are pressing on! Please take care, Martha

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