Do you ever feel like giving up? Like you have given it all you’ve got and you just can’t go on?
I was there Tuesday morning. Stepping onto the elliptical machine, I had finally decided to take control of my body’s inflating fat cells and lack of energy. I was pumped…ready to go. But the dim light over the machine kept my aging eyes from seeing the control panel well. I could just make out INTERVAL. So I punched that button and took whatever workout was previously programmed. (Hey, I figured I could handle it.)
I was going great that first minute. Then…whoa. Suddenly it was like trying to trudge through a pool of mud. I had entered the work interval. And to my utter dismay, I saw it was going to last seven minutes. Seven minutes!
C’mon, Sabra. You can do it. I did my best to cheer myself on. But each and every step was growing more difficult and my muscles started screaming. Watching that timer only made me more aware of my weakness. Just two more minutes…keep going. I put more effort into my arms to ease the pain in my legs. And just when I thought they’d give out, the blessed rest interval rescued me. But it didn’t feel like much of a rest. Just slightly less work. And when the next work interval reared its ugly head a mere two minutes later, the thought of having to endure it again was overwhelming. I just wanted to give up.
No way, Sabra. It took you too long to finally get on this machine. You can’t stop now.
So I kept going and tried to focus on why I was there—to make my body healthy and fit. Knowing I had to keep moving in order to reach my goal and realizing I wouldn’t make it without help, I started praying. I needed more than my strength to keep me going. I needed God’s.
Philippians 4:13 popped into my head: “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”
And I prayed more. Lord, help me keep going. Give me strength for each step. Get me through this. I’m so weak. I need You.
Does this struggle sound familiar? How often does the same scenario take place in your life? Trouble comes and you go on for a while okay. But then the difficulty kicks up a notch or two or a hundred, and you become overwhelmed. You feel you can’t go on, and you want to give up.
When you want to give up, give it to God.
God promises to supply you with strength to keep going, one step at a time. And those steps, one by one, will get you where you need to go.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. – Isaiah 40:29-31
God takes our efforts, no matter how weak, and adds His strength to bring about His purposes. By trusting in the Lord to supply all our needs, we grow stronger in our relationship with Him and in faith to depend on Him the next time troubles trample us.
Hopefully with each struggle we face, we will more readily go to God, seek His wisdom, and rely on His strength to attack the problem head-on. The quicker we do this, the greater the possibility we won’t cave under pressure.
The Lord will help us not give in, not lose hope, not give up. He will keep us from crumbling when the pressure gets too great and seems it will never end.
Giving it up to God—letting go of trying to do it all on our own—allows God to do what He does best. He works by His strength, through our weakness, and lets His glory shine.
God kept me going on that elliptical machine. After twenty-five minutes, my wobbly legs stepped off…victoriously. They were worn out, but my soul was doing a victory dance! God supplied the strength I needed to go each step of the way. And I know tomorrow when I start all over again, He’ll be there. I just need to remember that!
Heavenly Father, thank You that we don’t have to face struggles on our own. Help us to turn to You for strength to overcome every difficulty. Keep us from giving up. Help us to persevere and trust in Your provision for all we need to be victorious. May Your glory shine through Your work in us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
May you be strong through His strength today!
Other Scripture on God’s Strength and Provision:
Psalm 28:7 – The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.
Habakkuk 3:19 – The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.
2 Corinthians 9:8 – And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
All Scripture from New International Version of the Bible, 1984.
Images by Sabra Penley.