I was sitting outdoors yesterday afternoon enjoying the warm embrace of the sun, and couldn’t help but feel joyful. Nothing like a little sunshine and warmer weather to put a bounce in my step and a song in my heart.
I was watching two young boys riding their little bikes back and forth in the safety of their driveway and on sidewalk in front of their home. They were calling out to their “mama” to watch, wanting her undivided attention as they conquered their two wheelers. Wobbling along, they continued back and forth. It brought me back to when my boys were small and learning to ride their bikes, The falls they would take, the cries, but they would get right back on that bike and persevere with my encouragement.
Those children are just like us adults in many ways. We desire the attention of those we love. We want to be noticed for our achievements, we want encouragement as we persevere, and we want a pat on the back when we succeed. When we fail, we need that love even more desperately. We need to know we are still loved. We need the hug when we fall, to be brushed off so we can begin again, and we need the failures to learn perseverance and courage.
As we come to know Christ, following Him more closely, obstacles will come our way. There will be new challenges, like learning to ride a bike. Obstacles can be of our own creation or they can be a worldly obstacle that stands in our way. At other times there may be suffering in our life, either physically or emotionally. But whatever the situation, it creates an opportunity to lean into God as we persevere and He grows our faith. Both obstacles and suffering in our lives are an opportunity to experience God’s faithfulness towards us.
God sees the circumstances in our life. He is there to walk with us through the pain and anguish it brings. He is there holding on to us tightly. It is in His Word that we find strength and courage to persevere. We can turn to scripture to find words to encourage us as we see examples of how God sustained other believers throughout history. Throughout scripture we can see God’s faithfulness towards mankind.
Romans 5:3-5 declares “we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
How have you seen God’s faithfulness and sustaining power in your daily obstacles? What spiritual practices are you employing to lean into Him when you are suffering? In what ways have you recognized His great power through the Holy Spirit?
There is a verse from Colossians that I love, Paul prayed it over believers and it is a prayer I pray for myself and others when obstacles come our way.
I continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.(Colossians 1:9b-12, personalization added)
Rest in the love of Christ today and bask in His warm embrace.