I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
There have been trying times here recently and Dan & I have been dealing with church concerns that can leave us absolutely drained at times. I've been trying to stay close to the Lord in prayer, and reading, and meditating on His promises. And it helps. After doing this I will feel rejuvenated and hopeful and ready to face the world.
But then something or someone pulls my eyes down and the hope feels like it is being sucked right out of me. And that can be discouraging. These times are difficult when Dan & I are trying our best to be faithful and obedient, and trust the Lord through difficulties, and yet, so many voices and circumstances speak negativity that cut straight through our hearts. And it's even worse when my response to that is not always a good one. So then I not only feel hopeless, but feel defeated at my own reaction.
Dan & I spent some time in prayer last night and I woke up at 2:00 this morning and felt such a heaviness in my spirit. My head was pounding and I felt so close to tears. After tossing and turning for a while, I got up to read and pray.
I was reminded to keep my eyes fixed on the goal. To remember who is in
control. To keep pushing forward, no matter what anyone else says or
does. To remain faithful even in the midst of discouragement. To keep
gently reminding others to do the same. And I need to look to Jesus,
who was our perfect example in this.
We love our church and our desire is to see spiritual maturity and to have a body of believers who actively seek God and trust Him. We long to see our friends grow in leaps and bounds in their faith. We keep praying that God will wake up and shake up those who have grown complacent in their spiritual walk. We pray that He will give us the strength and patience to set the example. I've been praying especially for my own reactions in conflict that I won't take things so to heart.
After reading this and spending time in prayer, I feel the hope and peace filling my soul again. I feel calm. I'm ready to get back up, dust myself off and keep on moving. My prayer is that I will continue to keep my eye on the prize.