My life has been a journey full of twists & turns, highs & lows. Honestly, I'm not sure I could really define where I'm headed. But one thing I'm learning, the journey isn't all about the final destination but more about how we travel. And fulfillment is found in all that we learn & experience as we journey, not just getting to the end of it. I can't even imagine making mine without Christ before me, behind me, and beside me...

Monday, March 28, 2011

THE GOOD FIGHT

     Chad shared a message he received from a young man in Brazil who has been reading our book in his own language. It is so exciting and awe-inspiring to see God use our words to encourage and empower people in other countries--especially in a language we can't even speak. When we started writing, we never even dreamed He would take it beyond the US...
     For this young man Hugo to share a little of his story is humbling for me...An honor and blessing that is cherished. When Chad read the message to me, one statement lingered in my mind and found its way to my heart. Hugo spoke of his life before Christ when he stood far from Jesus... No doubt he struggled and often felt alone in it and these next few words seem to stand out from the rest: "But in the end, a pastor had the courage to fight for me..."
      Lately, it seems there are so many battles surrounding us. We see so many who are hopeless as they "stand far from Jesus."  Too often, just a passing word is not enough to bring hope but to do more means sacrifice especially time. It means believing when the one we are fighting for can't believe in himself. Even when the battle seems too hard and the spirit, sacrifice means finding the strength to fight when the one can't find the strength nor the will to fight for himself. It means not giving up when everyone else has. To be willing to sacrifice and fight against the odds for another takes courage...the kind of courage many can't even muster.
     I've stood on the edge of that chasm too often myself with the enemy hot on my heels. No hope and no bridge to cross to get to life beyond the moment. On my own, I would have fallen prey to the enemy or fallen into the nothingness below. But each time when I was ready to give up, someone from across the way would fight for me...to shoot arrows at my pursuing enemy. Battles don't always come in the way we would expect and those arrows--prayers on my behalf, words of encouragement, even admonishment, and sometimes heroic acts and charitable deeds--pierced the enemy and defeated him. The warrior waged battle and all the while, Christ would reach out His hand to me and call until I heard Him, "Just take a step. Walk by faith not by sight. Take my hand and cross to the other side. I am here. I won't let you go." A bridge invisible from my own perspective had been built because someone had the courage to stand in the gap for me.
     When I pause to think what would have happened if no one had taken up my cause, I tremble knowing that but for the courage of the few willing to make the sacrifice to fight for me, I wouldn't be here. They had nothing to gain and everything to lose, but still they fought for me. Sometimes, my mind still can't fathom or understand it--the rhyme and reasons of a warrior's heart. But I know this: I want to be that warrior--that one who would fight for the sake of others...for the hopeless and downtrodden...just as was done for me. I want to be a voice for those too afraid to speak up for themselves, to be the marksman and warrior willing to fight battles when the odds seem insurmountable. I want to be the one that stands in the gap so that one who is hopeless can see His hand reaching out and hear His voice, "Just take a step. Walk by faith not by sight. Take my hand...I won't let you go."
     I can't help but remember some of Paul's last words, "I have fought the good fight..."  He was a warrior and he never gave up no matter what the cost. Though he thought himself nothing, Paul so often stood in the gap for those who didn't have the strength or the will. He fought the good fight and because he was willing, today the whole world can know there is a Savior...there is HOPE. At the end of his life, he had no regrets because he had given his all.
     I realize that all battles are not mine to fight. I must let God choose them for me. And when the battles seem overwhelming and I don't think there's anything I can do, I want to remember those who fought for me. Though I can't always understand the why, I know how they fought--with strength that was not their own but of Christ. And I must remember that--no matter what--it isn't my strength that wins the battle. All that flows through me comes from Him. He has chosen and empowered me to fight for broken and the hopeless.
     When I come to the end of my life, I want to be able to speak the words of Paul with all my heart:


"As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God....I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me... And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to His appearing..." - 2 Timothy 4:6-7 NLT


      I want to be a warrior and when all is done, I want to know there are those who found hope in His outstretched hand and will stand with me on the other side of eternity. But in meantime while we fight, the battle--well, the battle belongs to the Lord and I will remain faithful.

1 comment:

  1. I think you already are that warrior!

    Live to Love.
    C

    ReplyDelete