Jen’s Gem: Don’t give up before the victory.
This week I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis – or in layman’s terms – a foot injury, likely caused by not stretching properly and overdoing my walking/running routine. I’ve been forced to sit on the sidelines for the past few days. My only companions are my bottle of Advil and a frozen water bottle, both designed to ease the pain and help my foot recover.
Ironically – or not – I also discovered this week that I am five pounds from my weight loss goal. (Perhaps my foot pain was caused by the happy dance I did around my house after seeing the number on the scale!) Since February, I have been on this journey to shed the weight gained over the last three years. It’s been long. It’s been frustrating. It’s been worth it.
As much as I wanted to slip on my skinny jeans the day after I started my new lifestyle, it was not to be. It’s only recently that clothes I wore years ago are being moved from the back of the closet to the forefront. Clothes that are too big are taking their place. Perhaps they will land in a donation bag or maybe I’ll hold on to them as a reminder of this journey so that I don’t go around this mountain again.
I’ve been doing a chronological Bible study this year. For months, I’ve been in the Old Testament that speaks to the beginnings of the world, mankind, and their respective “mountains.” For Abraham and Sarah, their mountain was infertility until God stepped in. For David and his people, their mountain was a giant called Goliath. For Joseph, it was his brothers who hated him and tried to kill him. Everyone has had a mountain since the beginning of time. Everyone.
Despite their mountains being vastly different, each of these people (and many more), triumphantly came out the other side because of one thing. Faith in God. Abraham and Sarah had a child when they were over 100 years old. David killed Goliath with a slingshot and became a king. Joseph became a powerful prince, second only to the king.
These are remarkable stories of victory that are still changing lives, thousands of years later. When I read them, I’m reminded that the same victory belongs to me. Even though my mountain and yours may be quite different than these ancient peoples, the God who saved them is the same. What He did for them, He will do for me, and you, if only we believe and hold on to our faith.
When I began my weight loss journey, I thought I’d be at my goal weight by now. When the scale would tell me otherwise, I’d become disappointed and frustrated that my efforts did not have the outcome I wanted. I could’ve given up. I could’ve chalked up my slow metabolism to age and cray cray hormones and settled into that number on the scale that appeared week after week. I could’ve done that.
But then I remembered that God didn’t leave His work with Abraham, David, and Joseph half done. He didn’t make Sarah pregnant and then not deliver a healthy baby. He didn’t let David’s stone only injure Goliath. He didn’t leave Joseph to rot in prison. God doesn’t do things halfway. He’s an “all the way” God. He’s a finisher.
We are not always good finishers. We are great beginners, but when things get too hard or boring, we tend to give up. Our perseverance muscles are weak. Perhaps it’s because we live in a world of instant everything. Things are so easy that the moment they get too hard or they will take too long to accomplish, we walk away.
God doesn’t walk away. He can’t. It’s not who He is. Whatever His purposes and plans are, they all come to pass. He planned for Abraham and Sarah to have a child so their “descendants could be as numerous as the stars in the heavens.” He planned for David to be king and build God’s temple. He planned for Joseph to rule over all the land and prosper.
You may be thinking that your mountain is too big for God. Spoiler alert. Nothing is too big for God. That illness, lost job, failing business, bad relationship – these are all molehills in God’s eyes. I don’t mean to diminish their size in your eyes, but I caution you not to make them bigger than God, putting all of your focus on them. He’s a jealous God and He wants to be your main focus.
That’s why Abraham and David and Joseph had their victories. They weren’t focused on the baby, the giant, or the prison walls. Their focus was on God and His promises. If you think these don’t apply to you, I beg to differ. God is no respecter of persons. What He does for one, He will do for another. A promise is a promise.
This week, I’d like to encourage you to put your mountain in God’s hands. Offer it up to the One who is the Master of moving mountains. If it doesn’t move right away, don’t give up. It takes time to move a mountain, but it will move. That’s a promise.