Have you ever chosen a word to guide you throughout the new year or a particular season in
your life? One year, I chose “journey” as I followed a new path…another word I focused on was
“fearless,” as I walked through some personal challenges. I have made jokes about not praying
for patience because you know that God will be faithful to provide you many opportunities to
build your capacity for patience. I would rather He just give me the patience, not have me do the
work to develop it. That is kind of like expecting to be able to run a marathon without training for
the event. God is teaching me endurance. He wants me to do the training. I want to win the race
and run through the finish line. I want to gain the accolades of being a faithful Christian. I want
to be a good and faithful servant. Now. I don’t want to do the training. I don’t want to walk
through my daily struggles. I don’t want to face my daily feelings of doubt, anxiety, fear, worry,
dissatisfaction, sadness. God alone gives me HOPE. Even when I am weighed down by all that
the enemy is throwing my way, I know that I know that I know that God is my only hope. I am
NOT at home here on this earth. I will never be at home here on this earth. Even on my darkest
days, I know that He is faithful. And I have a hope (confidence) that His faithfulness alone is
what saves me. Even on my best days, I am not at home here.
Do you look at the world with distrust because people closest to you have caused you great
pain? Do you look at the world with compassion because those closest to you could not care for
you and now you want to care for everyone who is hurting? Do you look at the world through
jealousy because you have never had it easy and everyone else seems to have surpassed you
with their success? Do you look at the world and feel your inadequacy because you feel you do
not measure up? Your lens is your lens. Your experiences are your experiences. God has
placed you at this time and place in history for His purposes and His glory alone. This fact will
never cease to amaze me. We are here for HIS good purpose…and YET, He loves ME and
weaves me into His tapestry of history. The same is true of you.
We have a lens with which we view the world, the church, our families, our friends, etc. God
loves you just as you are. He loves me, just as I am. And, yet, He loves us so much just as we
are that He does not let us remain just as we are. He wants us to daily work out our salvation.
To train for the race, to build our endurance. He wants us to run the good race. I am going to be
transparent with you right now and admit that as I am writing this, I am exhausted. I am barely
running the race right now. Don’t get me wrong, my faith is strong and I know that my redeemer
lives. He is the only reason I am ambling along right now. I am in a daily struggle to put one foot
in front of the other. I have allowed fear and anxiety to weigh me down. I hope that by the time
this is published, I will be on the other side of this valley, but only God knows.
We all have different struggles, but your struggle is not anything that is not common to man. I
know there are others who have had the same struggles I deal with. It is a vicious cycle and it
spins out of control before you know it. God’s Word is living and active and has the power to lift
you out of the cycle. It may not happen in a flash. It may not happen in two weeks. I choose to
meditate on the common grace that my gracious God pours out for every human being. The
beautiful sunrise and natural world. The gift of children and new life. Changing seasons. I also
choose to meditate on the saving grace my Jesus gave to me. The mind blowing way that He is
always faithful even when I am not. The way He always provides for me. The blessings He
pours out in my life and the fact that I am deserving of none of them. The way that He always
pursues me, even in my apathy.
What is your outlook on life today? What word or words are your focus? Where does your mind
travel when you have a moment to yourself? I encourage you to fix your mind on a word that
draws your heart and mind to the Savior. Is it always easy? Absolutely not! However, I have
found it more difficult to fix my mind on Christ in a deeply meaningful way when things are easy.
I have spent much more time and effort leaning into the Word during the struggles than in the
fun and easy times. There is that holy upside down economy again! Lord Jesus, I pray that
every person reading this will be encouraged to lean in to You and that You are glorified in us
every day. Thank you for Your amazing and mind blowing grace.
I thank God that you are part of my community. May you run your race well today!
Author – Cari Cockrell