Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Overcoming Without Being Overcome

Image courtesy of morguefile.com
Angie, here. There are times in a writer's life when he or she is overcome by ... well, life. Illness, family drama, financial woes -- all these can cramp up the creativity. I know, I've been dealing with a couple of these myself. In fact, I've even thought I might quite writing. But to quote R. A. Salvatore:
“If you can quit, then quit. If you can't quit, you're a writer.”
I just can't quit. Believe me, I've tried. If this sounds too familiar for comfort, then this post is for you.

Philippians is one of my favorite books in the Bible. It is a compact book so full of deep wisdom and practical direction. One of my favorite verses in this little gem of a book is the last part of the 13 – 14th verses of chapter 3:

“… Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me …” (Philippians 3:13b – 14a, NIV)

Written by Paul around the first century, it still holds truth today. On those days that I can’t move without pain, when I can’t read, write or focus on anything but what must be the most insane sitcoms, I can look at that verse and take comfort.

Did you know that Paul had a chronic illness? His illness was so bad that in his second letter to the church at Corinth, he tells them that he prayed for healing three times, but God told him, “No,” each time.

It was then that Paul, instead of wallowing in self-pity, made a decision to embrace his weakness. In fact, verse 10 of chapter twelve says,

“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10, NIV)

By that he meant that he’d reached a point where he couldn’t do anything (you know you’ve been there), that’s when he let God take over. And God always works in mighty ways. That’s the prize that Paul wanted – the life that God created just for him.

And that’s where we’ve got to find our joy when life get’s to be too much. The prize that God planned for us is just over that hill of pain, discouragement, loneliness or grief. Isn’t that great? We’ve just got to keep climbing until we get to the top.

I'm going to leave you with one more verse to think about and that's Jeremiah 29:11 [ESV], "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for [peace]* and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."

What verse(s) do you cling to when you're overcome by life? Feel free to share them in the comments below.

*Bible Gateway

6 comments:

  1. So wishing the best for you, Angie. Jeremiah 29:11 is my verse for this journey. A pastor sent that to me on a little card long ago as encouragement for my writing. It's stuck with me ever since.

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    1. Thank you, Sandy! You're actually one of God's reminders to push on. Last year I couldn't have gone to the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference unless I had a roommate -- you. So you're one of a long list of people God has used to help me continue this writer's journey.

      Thank you, my sweet friend.

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  2. I'm a big Philippians fan, too, but different verses speak to my writer's heart every day.

    Cheering for you, Angie! I'm so thankful God placed you in my path so we can journey together! And isn't it amazing, just when you think you can't put one foot in front of the other, how He manages to lift you up and give you just what you need that day?? Even if that means just resting in Him.

    All my love and best wishes, sweet friend.

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  3. You're another answer to prayer, Dora-girl. You've encouraged me so many times with a quick tweet or email. Love our lunches together!

    Yes, it is amazing the things he can do with this broken body and spirit. He gives strength for the day just as he does our daily bread. And what a blessing that manna is!

    Resting in him and in our friendship.

    Hugs!

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  4. I have so many verses I cling to when life is overwhelming and I feel like quitting. One is 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. Also, Romans 8:11 and Philippians 2:13. (I know you only asked for one.) :)

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  5. Thanks for the encouraging post Angie:-) Sometimes life really does get in the way Big Time...whether it's kids,financial struggles or sickness, they've all come at me with guns blazing at different times;( I need to remember that verse "For when I am weak then am I strong.." Thanks for the much needed reminder !

    hugs to you Angie :-)

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