Five Minute Friday: Overcome

Along the Way @ mlsgregg.com

Gentle Reader,

Golden-hued light streams through the windows across the back of my house. In the front yard, the color of the maple tree shifts from bright yellow to near-orange. Dark green veins on the leaves flicker and fight on, valiantly drawing nutrients from the rough, graying trunk until the last possible moment. Cold, frost-bitten mornings keep the dogs abed later than usual. Their fur grows thicker and fluffier.

Autumn continues to wind itself around the landscape. The view changes daily, a transformation made almost as if by magic. Blink and you’ll miss it. But the animals, they know. They begin slow down. Their Creator whispers that it’s time for them to rest. Gather up sustenance for snowy days ahead, curl up in a ball and drape your tail across your face.

One by one, the birds will stop trilling. The squirrels will stop darting across busy streets. They will hunker down and observe the turning of the seasons, confident and content in the care of the hands that fashioned them.

Kate says: overcome.

Go.

The technician smeared the cold jelly across my abdomen. I closed my eyes, preparing for the onslaught. Down came the probe. She was just doing her job. But I wanted to kick her or bite her or something. I bit my lips and clenched my fists to keep from screaming. A few tears sneaked past the lashes pressed tight against my cheeks. She pressed harder, moving across the long scar, stopping when she reached the spot that hurts the most.

A tumor hunting we will go.

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want…

I’ve written about Barnabas. I want to be like this dude. Without him, the church leaders in Jerusalem may have never accepted Paul. Without him, John Mark may have never gotten a second chance. He got down there, in the hard stuff with the broken people. He urged them on. He stood his ground. This behind-the-scenes servant of God did all that he could to uplift and encourage.

Part of that, I think, included speaking truth that most of us would rather ignore.

So: Don’t wallow. Don’t make excuses. Don’t whine.

Suffering is real. Pain sucks. Illness is the worst. There’s nothing glamorous about malfunctioning bodies, damaged relationships, empty bank accounts, You’re going to weep and doubt and rage at God sometimes. You’re going to hate all the tests and trials. You’re going to want to slap well-meaning people who say stupid things. You’re going to want to sit down, throw your hands in the air and quit.

Don’t.

Square your shoulders and lift your weary head. God didn’t make you so you could lay down in the dirt and die before your time. Grit your teeth. Press onward. Move forward. Don’t allow victimization to turn you into a perpetual victim. Don’t allow yourself to think that the world owes you anything. Don’t waste your time coveting what others have. Don’t waste your energy on black, soul-eating bitterness.

As Eric Matthews said, “Life’s tough. Get a helmet.”

If there’s still breath in your lungs, your race isn’t done.

By the power of the Holy Spirit within, fight.

Overcome.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written:

“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

– Romans 8:31-39, 1 John 4:4 (NKJV)

Stop.

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Photo Credit: Jason Briscoe
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19 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: Overcome

  1. Marie, such an encouraging post. Thank you for the pep talk. There are times when giving up seems the easier route. When the boys push and prod and talk mean, sometimes I just want to run away. But, God’s plan is different—better—than mine. When I feel like giving up on a relationship, on a dream, I need to remember that God strengthens us to overcome. With His help.
    Beautiful words, friend!

    Like

    1. Maybe you should make the boys run. Use up some of that energy. 🙂

      I am learning that the easy way out often isn’t actually easy or a way out at all. If it’s something we need to deal with, God will keep bringing us back to it, one way or another. Paradoxically, sometimes the easy is actually the harder, far more difficult than just pushing through.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Poignant and direct. A true fight of the flesh to give in to what it wants. “There’s nothing glamorous about malfunctioning bodies, damaged relationships, empty bank accounts, You’re going to weep and doubt and rage at God sometimes.” This is the battle. Thanks for your kind words.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Marie,
    and this is exactly why I love you. You are direct. I too want to be a Barnabas. I’m reading “Fiercehearted” by Holley Gerth right now. I’ve always tended to avoid conflict, because being right wasn’t as important to me as having peace between myself and others. I’m being called to stand and stand firm lately. (And it’s terrifying!)
    I have to look at it through the Spiritual lenses, though, and realize that I’m called to stand firm (Eph 6).
    Thank you for a timely, courageous post that will help me to remember my calling.
    I am not called to man’s service that I would please him, but to God’s purpose that I would glorify Him.
    Love,
    Tammy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like you, too, Tammy.

      It’s easy to forget about the spiritual aspect of our struggles. Some things happen because we make bad choices. Some things happen because we live in a broken world. The Devil loves to take advantage of whatever hardship we face to tempt us to give up and curse God. I will be praying for you as you choose to be brave!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh friend, my heart aches for the pain you and so many others experience. You are so much stronger than you think. And you cannot go wrong with Rend Collective. I get to see them In concert on Thursday. I’m in the 61 spot this week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You got to see them in concert?! Oh, how fun! We saw them back in March (they were touring with the “Rock and Worship Roadshow”). I love that they don’t just entertain, but truly lead us into worship.

      Your tender heart is a real gift, Tara. Never let anyone tell you otherwise.

      Like

  5. Suffering is real. Pain sucks. Illness is the worst. There’s nothing glamorous about malfunctioning bodies, damaged relationships, empty bank accounts, You’re going to weep and doubt and rage at God sometimes. You’re going to hate all the tests and trials. You’re going to want to slap well-meaning people who say stupid things. You’re going to want to sit down, throw your hands in the air and quit.

    So true. Thank you. Nothing more I could add. Thank you, brave warrior!

    Like

  6. Marie, sorry you are in the midst of a difficult season but am blessed by the way you allow God’s voice to speak into it. I will hide these words in my heart and let them shape it.

    Like

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