One week ago, everything as far as my eyes could see was covered in ice. I heard the winter storm effects covered many states, but I didn’t venture outside my house to investigate. I did, however, enjoy the many photos and stories posted by Facebook friends, including this one by Cathy. (She’s a fabulous photographer!)
It’s a beautiful photo, but it made me think: “I don’t think that clothespin is going to be able to do a good job of pinning anything for awhile.” While it was hanging around on the clothesline, freezing rain and sleet encased it. Now it’s stuck.
Ever feel that way? Unable to move, rendered useless or worthless? Perhaps you’re overwhelmed with “can’ts.” There’s not enough time, money, talent…the list goes on. Sounds like there is plenty of one thing – excuses!
Sure, you might call them “reasons.” I’ve used the same rationale through many seasons of my life, but the truth is, I’m not an inanimate object that gets frozen in ice. I’m not trapped. I have options. I might be too blinded to see some of my options, and I might not like some of my options, but I’m not trapped.
And neither are you. You’re not unable to move. You’re not useless or worthless.
Since we have been made right with God by our faith, we have peace with God. This happened through our Lord Jesus Christ, who through our faith has brought us into that blessing of God’s grace that we now enjoy. And we are happy because of the hope we have of sharing God’s glory. We also have joy with our troubles, because we know that these troubles produce patience. And patience produces character, and character produces hope. And this hope will never disappoint us, because God has poured out his love to fill our hearts. He gave us his love through the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to us. – Romans 5:1-5
When we have problems and trials, we can develop endurance. (We can also sit and mope and whine and become self-focused. We can let the ice freeze around us, immobilizing us…and we can even appreciate where we are as “beautiful”!) Endurance develops character. Character develops our hope in salvation. And yet…isn’t it our hope in salvation, our relationship with Jesus, our acceptance and understanding of God’s character, that helps us deal with our problems and trials in the first place?
We often stop where we are because we’re waiting on something. We think we need more faith or we need more strength or we need more courage. We may even ask God for it. And then we wait and wait and wait….when we already have what we need! If you have a relationship with Jesus, you have his strength and courage. You may not always feel like you have it, but it’s there. We may feel completely drained and insufficient and incapable, but it’s not because we actually are. It’s often because we’re not standing on the promise of Romans 1:5.
The Holy Spirit gives us everything we need. The strength and courage we need is already in us, and not only is it in us, but the Holy Spirit fills us! You have access to God’s love, courage, strength, joy, discernment (and the list goes on…) inside you, accessible at all times. So why would you want to be frozen to a clothesline or sit beside the road, bury your head in your hands and quit?
This is what God made us for, and he has given us the Spirit to be a guarantee for this new life. – 2 Corinthians 5:5