I met a stranger a few days ago who shared something powerful with me. In our brief interaction she said she was having a challenging day. In that moment she was pressing her way through her work shift while also pressing her way through the realities of taking chemotherapy every day. The more I listened intently, the more she shared. She explained she was living with a rare blood disease that required a daily chemotherapy pill for her survival. My jaw dropped, and my forehead wrinkled. This woman didn’t look ill, nor did she struggle to move around. However, she did look a little worn, no doubt tattered by the issues life. Still she mustered up a big smile on her face and fashioned a smile in her eyes. She looked determined, wearing her work uniform with pride and what seemed to be a shield of perseverance across her chest. This woman was a walking sermon. A walking testimony that edified me in that very moment.
Yes, I’ve experienced life and death situations in my personal journey. Situations where God’s mighty hand saved me. Yet, somehow, I was finding it difficult to allow those experiences to minister to me in my current realities; realities that include aging parents with health challenges, finishing my doctoral studies and wearing multiple hats in carrying out the responsibilities of wife and mother. Meeting this stranger reminded me of the gift of life. No matter our predicaments or setbacks, God gifts to us seconds, minutes and hours in days we’ve never seen before. God gifts to us a world to walk freely in, humbly living our testimonies in the midst of people who need to be edified, who need to be resuscitated and encouraged. Sermons are not always preached from a pulpit. They are effectively lived. What sermon is your life preaching? Whose life have you edified without bringing attention to yourself? Someone is waiting for you to walk their way.
We are living in the days of spiritual warfare where retreat is not an option and action is necessary. We are living in the days where it is necessary for us to hop down from the pedestals of posturing and celebrity-minded living. Not heeding this necessity makes the guilty parties look foolish, like little girls and boys in adult bodies playing dress up and make believe. There’s no time for this kind of mockery in days where the struggle of life and death is the reality pressing against every generation – from the youngest to the oldest. There is no time for fruitless, deceptive, mindless behavior!
Instead, we, the redeemed, the transformed, the ‘yet holding on’, must show up; we must patch up our wounds and brush ourselves off from the disappointments and uncertainties of life; we must untangle ourselves from our fetal positions of despair; we must dry our weeping eyes; and we must join the fight pressing against us with the full armor of God, standing firm with the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, feet wrapped in peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit.
We must commit to this fight because God is declaring Now is the Time! Now is the time to use what God has already poured into us. Now is the time to use our position of favor to help turn our communities around, our world around – from utter death and destruction. For such a time as this!
Just when I think the bustle of life is slowing down, an urgent situation, an uncertain circumstance rolls in and disrupts my vibe. My pretty, wrapped-up in a bow thought processes to set-aside “me-time” or a “mental health day”, quickly dissipates to practically nothing until the next weary moment comes crashing in. As a teenager, I dreamt of my adult years as compartmentalized experiences that would yield a carefree life. Boy, did I get a reality check! My adult years have proven to be a mixture of sorts ranging from indescribable joys, hard-to-handle uncertainties and near-death experiences that have actualized a life I could not have planned for. I dare not complain. Even with its highs and lows, my life is better than what I could think or imagine. So, I press on.
My pressing is teaching me to flow with God as He dictates when and where and how. And I’m following His leading, getting what I need when I need it the most. Rather than be pushed away, I feel drawn even closer to God, motivated in a renewed mindset.
I am persuaded to live with fervor. I am persuaded to pray with fire. I am persuaded to serve with faith that moves mountains. I am persuaded. The life God has given me persuades me to be an example that points the lost, the broken, the forgotten, the cast aside – to Him. To Him, who saves me from myself. To Him, who is mighty in ALL things. To Him, who is Alpha and Omega. To Him, who bids us all to draw near to Him and find rest. Are you persuaded to begin a renewed walk with God? I invite you to do so today.