I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 3:10-13 (NIV, my emphasis)
Got challenge? The world uses this word to be very ‘pc’ when discussing disabilities and problems. In a rare moment, I am going to agree with the world’s word choice. I think the word ‘challenge’ covers the scope of what came into each person’s mind when I asked my original question: Got challenge?
Recently a friend sent me a link to a video of a young man who asked his dad to join him in running some marathons, including the IronMan race. I encourage you to take 3-4 minutes to go to godtube.com and watch this video. It blessed me and witnessed to me the power of what Paul was trying to convey in his words from this passage.
This lifeâ€¦ is hard. God has spoken to me so many times about the seasons or cycles of it â€“ but day-to-day is just hard. Jesus warned us that if we are in Him we do not belong to the world but He said that the world will hate us for that very reason. Whether it is health problems, relationships that resemble a unpredictable ride in an amusement park (that definitely can be un-fun!), growing up (chronologically and spiritually), and, my personal favorite, taking capture my wayward thoughts and emotions! Life is hard! BUT â€“ I CAN do it ALL through â€“ in â€“ with â€“ Jesus Christ â€“ who gives me ALL that I need to have the strength to do what He wants me to do!!!
Where do I get this strength? How do I tap into this promised strength? ——– On my knees. No shortcuts here. In order to draw on Jesus’ strength, I have to spend time plugged into Him and I do that being with Jesus. My relationship with Jesus is multi-faceted just as my relationship with Henry has many facets. It is about using all kinds of communication and relationship building but one vital key point is that I actually have to put in the time! I cannot build my marriage bonds long-distance! Neither can I build my intimacy with Jesus through perfunctory prayers and ten memorized Bible verses.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7 (NIV)