Life is hard. To be honest, I can’t remember a time when life was ever easy. Raped when I was eight-years old, wrought with struggles of low self-esteem, diagnosed with lupus when I was seventeen-years old, overcome with depression and thoughts of suicide, diagnosed with Crohns when I was twenty-five, and having several close calls with death, I've realized life will never be easy – not on this side of Heaven. It was never meant to be.
For years, I've told myself things will eventually get better. Yet after each victory, another battle begins – rarely expected and never wanted. And with each battle, I've found myself wondering how much more would be required of me. I've been tempted to quit.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not talking about suicide or even depression. I've battled with those two beasts and won, but I think if we’re honest, when another problem comes around, we've all questioned God and asked when the suffering would end. We've wondered what would happen if we didn’t pick up our swords and go into battle once again, if we just let whatever happens happen.
Yet every time another battle arises, I dust myself off, get back up, and try again. Why? Because I've learned something out of all my battles won. You see, I've realized we’re not alone in our battles. God doesn’t simply sit back and watch us fight to the death like the ancient Romans did during the times of gladiators. Our suffering and pain isn't a game to Him. We live in a fallen, broken world, and because of that, suffering is a part of this life. BUT we’re not going into battle alone. God is right there beside us, fighting with us every step of the journey.
God doesn't judge people by the world's standards. He sees the person who loves Him, the one who trusts Him when circumstances are bleak, the one who refuses to give up when life keeps knocking him down. That's what determines if a person is victorious. It doesn't matter if one's bank account is full, he has a mansion, and he’s healthy. Victory is won in a person's heart and mind.
So the next time you are tempted to quit, remember that you’re not alone. God is with you, and He can and will turn your pain into something amazing, but you have to persevere, even when you don’t know how to continue. You may never be victorious according to the world’s standards, but you win every time you get back up and keep going, especially when it’s easier to quit. And that is what people will focus on when they think of you – not that you are sick, but that you didn’t quit.
Choose to be victorious!
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” ~ Ephesians 6:10-17