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Are You At the 'End of Your Rope'?
How Long Can You Hold On?
2 Corinthians 12:9
"Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me."
-2 Corinthians 12:9 (New Living Translation)
Life Can Be Tough
There are times when life gets difficult. So difficult that you may feel like just giving up.
I've been there many times.
But I have learned after experiencing those tough times, how God works. His glory is magnified in our weakness, to show His strength.
But what about when you are physically and emotionally tired from circumstances in life?
My first thought that goes through my head is my escape plan; how am I going to give up and get out of this situation. I know that I am not alone, here.
What I have learned from my own experiences as a Christian is that God is there, but does not act in the same time frame as our short fuses.
In fact, I may have been ready to give up a long time ago. To be completely honest, it is a real internal struggle to just hang on at times, when I am extremely frustrated with a situation.
Am I alone here?
Hanging On Can Be "Okay"
The Secret to Pulling Through Tough Times
When times get tough, it is easy to give up. We all know that. Giving up comes naturally.
The difficult thing to do is to persevere - to hang on - until the rough times have passed, but hanging on is difficult. I know, I've been there.
If you do give up, those times of failure can be a haunting memory of what happened when you gave into your desire to take the easy road.
Here are a few examples of difficult situations:
- family arguments with extended family
- fights between spouses
- fights between parent and child (the older they are, the uglier they can get)
- being treated unfairly at work
- disagreements among friends, neighbors, or church-members
- political disagreements
Can you relate to any of these listed above?
Hang on for Dear Life
Interpretive Dance Performance "At the End of Your Rope"
I Made It Through...Can You?
Let me share a short personal story.
At a job, I once had a supervisor that was very ugly to me. This supervisor was a tyrant.
I was treated very unfairly. The slightest mistakes I made was turned into a huge deal, and I was never given any positive praise.
How I managed to last so long was was not clearly resonating from my mind, until a co-worker told me. What I am about to tell you is the shameful part, too.
I am an evangelical Christian, but I was afraid to share my faith at work because the rules. I didn't want to break the rules and be found guilty. I was letting fear hinder my faith.
So this co-worker was talking to me one day and said, "You know, you must be a strong person to be able to last under (boss name). I wouldn't have been able to last under (this person)."
I replied, "I don't know how I've been able to last this long. I've just hung on."
He replied. "I know how. It's by God's grace."
Wow. I was blown away almost to tears. I gave myself credit where God was due the credit, and I knew it.
I felt like I was a Christian in hiding. This co-worker knew I was a Christian from other conversations about being part of a church, but I never turned the evangelical part of my faith "on."
In the moment, I can't tell you what I was thinking, but I did not give God the glory for my strength, when I honestly had none. This co-worker was 100% right, and God reminded me through his words.
I couldn't have lasted that year without God granting me just a little bit of peace - when I needed it, as I needed it - and I didn't even give Him the glory.
I don't think this co-worker was a believer, and he told me what I should have said in that moment. I failed.
I tell you that even if you are not willing to share about God, even the rocks will cry out his name. God can use even the non-believer to share about his glory, and in this case, He did.
God gave me the strength to hold on, even though I was ready to give up. God will never fail you, no matter what your weaknesses may be.