I’ve sectioned off an area of our yard to do a garden this summer. Last fall, in preparation for a garden this summer, a few of our kids helped me prep the ground. We did a process called “lasagna gardening,” which entails laying down several different materials which allows the soil to become nutrient rich. We laid down cardboard, newspaper, leaves and woodchips. Some of those materials have decomposed over the winter but a lot of the cardboard still remains. At this point, before we churn the soil over, the cardboard is acting like a barrier for anything to grow through. A few weeks ago, I noticed that one of our perennial plants has pushed its way through the cardboard and is growing right in the spot it always has grown. I was amazed by this. That little plant fought through the barriers and is succeeding! What a great life lesson for all of us!
I don’t need to tell you that life brings all kinds of trials and “barriers” our way. We deal with hurts, insecurities, loss, health issues, betrayal, being let down, being rejected, failure…the list goes on and on. It is the nature of life. In fact, Jesus even tells us to expect these hurts. In
John 16:33 we see Jesus saying, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation.”
Depressed yet? If it ended there, it would be depressing. But the last part of John 16:33 says,
“But take heart; I have overcome the world.” Jesus is victorious over every situation we face. But the reality is we still have to face those situations. How we face situations matters. In
Luke 21, Jesus is talking to a group of people, describing a time of wars and persecution that is to come. He is sharing what an intense time it will be. But, as only Jesus can do, He encourages them to remain faithful. In Luke 21:19, He says, “Stand firm and you will win life.”
That is my new motto! It’s simple, clear, and full of purpose. Standing firm means we are living the way God is calling us to live. We are choosing to live a life of character, integrity, love, patience, and joy. (See Galatians 5:22-23 for more great character traits!) It means we choose to live a life that is a “light” for others. It means we turn to God when we are struggling and barely holding on. Standing firm pays off. It leads to victory. Maybe not victory on this earth, but victory in eternity. And eternal victory is worth anything we may face here.
That plant pushed through the obstacles it faced in order to succeed. What obstacles are coming against you and trying to prevent you from standing firm? Think about those this week, and ask God to help you stand firm in who He is and what He has promised. The reward will be great! I’m praying for you!