Got to some talking with my church group downline this week. I found myself pulled toward both ends of my emotional line with joy and sorrow where both were giving the fight of their lives.
It was a tough match to judge because the prize went to neither opponents. The fight was ultimately within me and to win or lose was a matter of going in between both fighters and taking both their punches with the required amount of uncontrollable tolerance.
Most of my downline had given me pretty optimistic hits with high hopes of triumph and victory, having news of delight and peace surrounding them, whereas in the other corner, one was crouching, full of exhaustion and apathy with no more sense of desperation to win. That fighter had already given up long before he could even begin to realize his high statistical fighting potential. A sure win if he has chosen to keep fighting.
I was crushed because his sense of defeat had given me this unintentional hard blow to the gut where the only feeling I have now is a distinct pain and fear of not being able to get back up again to tell him just how much chance he has of bagging the prize, how much gain he would have if he’d just fight till the end where his wins and his losses in his fight would win him eternity with God and what could be better? He’d only need to just fight for it.
This fighter had told me that he didn’t see the point anymore of having to think about God. That’s the sad thing… because he is the point.
"For God so LOVED THE WORLD that HE GAVE HIS ONE AND ONLY SON so that WHOEVER BELIEVES in Him shall NOT PERISH, but have ETERNAL LIFE."
Christ saved him the same way He saved us because HE LOVES US SO MUCH. All he’s asking is we accept it, we fight to keep the gift He’s given us. If we’d only accept and believe, we may share in His eternal glory.
Apparently, defeat is contagious and had instantly affected my mentality, physicality and my emotional strength to take the punches with joy in my heart knowing that I am saving both sides from critical punches because looking at it, one got through to this fighter and knocked his senses cold, leaving him dazed. I have been crippled along with him and have been left a scar to always remind me what I had forgotten and forget what I had always thought I’d remember.
This scar, I thought, along with the others I had acquired in my own battles throughout my life, would comfort me because I knew that they would all vanish once I am with my Lord and Savior… and I know it will… but for now, the pain of it lingers like snow on winter.
I guess it’s true. The deepest cuts are those given by others, intentionally or unintentionally. For me though, the longest and hardest to heal are those that you have gained because of your desire to help others but seem to have been without effect. The new nature given to me by God through the Holy Spirit celebrates when someone follows Him and hurts when someone is lost and cannot find Him.
The desire and trying doesn’t stop, but surely, neither does the pain because though you have done much, the lie of you being useless becomes truth no matter how much you believe it isn’t.
This lie is now slowly molding into fear. I’m mostly afraid now to move because it is terrifying to think that if I move again, I might cause more harm than good.
I had initially planned to test the waters again and try and lead high school boys, but because of the effect on me of what was said, fear took control.
One of my brothers in Christ, one whom I consider to be one of my life coaches, told me to remember what Nehemiah had said about his mission. “I cannot come down for I am doing a great work here.” So, I told him that I was doing work for the Lord and I thought it to be great, but now that my downline, the one I tried to be a life coach to, had told me what he had been thinking for quite some time now, it forces me to question whether I had indeed done for them "a great work".
"Our labor for the Lord is not in vain" they say, but why does it feel sometimes like it is?
"Our faith is not based on feelings” this life coach of mine had said and it’s true and maybe that’s why despite these feelings, my conscious choice is to believe what I know is the absolute truth, that God loves me despite my shortcomings and He knows my heart and knows that I am imperfect and that when hurt, I say profoundly uncautious things, much like how He is with my downline. All I can do now is to encourage this fighter and pray for him without ceasing.
Matthew 9:37 says:
"Then He said to His disciples: ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.’"
So, though I am only one of few, I believe what God is telling me despite me feeling the opposite, that no matter how small of tasks, successful or unsuccessful in my eyes, is SOMETHING and never nothing.
Ironically, I was reminded through one of my Facebook posts meant to encourage those losing their grip on their faith. It goes:
"The greatest victories lie not on wars where you have won. They are in wars where you have triumphed over the mindset of quitting. So, finish your war and finish it with endurance and great faithfulness because the reward is priceless."
"For the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?"
Only God can and only He can comfort it. I may not feel it, but I know the truth. I may not see it, but I have seen His love. I should not forget that. He has told me to not live with a defeated heart but with an empowered spirit because with this spirit, my faith can never be crushed. Let your knowledge and evidences be your foundation and let your doubts be building blocks to reach greater heights because we are only as strong as how we make ourselves to be and how dependent we are on the Lord.
Have a blessed week, everyone!