God is merciful, in that he allows every day to end. And this has been a hard-fought day.
What do I mean by that? There are some weighty, discouraging things that I have had to plow through, run through this week. And the weight and discouragement of those things, add to the pressure I feel building inside of my soul. It’s a strange place to be–while it is quiet and lonely tonight in my house, there is a cacophony of noise in my mind, refusing to allow me to sleep. It’s noise that says I am a failure. Noise that says I am not a good mom. Noise that says my crew and I will never make it up Mount Everest.
And so it’s been a hard fought day to stand fast. To not allow myself to examine this past week with too much introspection. To not put away the very thing that I know is the best weapon against this reigning despair—Scripture and prayer. To stand fast after short nights.
I wonder if Paul experienced such things. I know that he longed for home. But the verse 2 Timothy 4:7 seems to tell me that he fought hard as well: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Whew! Will I look back someday and be able to say that I fought the good fight? And what exactly is the “good fight”, because there is not much in this fight that I find good. Except for the fact that mercifully, I am still standing. I am still pushing forward, I am running-no, sprinting toward the finish line of this race called life.
But here is the key, the goal, the purpose, the call: “I have kept the faith”. Will I, too, be able to say “I have kept the faith?” Because part of the fight–or maybe all of the fight–is for this, to keep the faith. To know that God is real. To believe, confess and serve.
Fighting to keep the faith is hard work. I am not afraid of hard work. But sometimes my weary soul wants to lay down the sword for a bit and rest. I get discouraged. I get frightened, I get overwhelmed. Tonight I am discouraged, I am frightened, I am overwhelmed.
1 Timothy 6:12 goes one step further:
12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
Take hold, grab onto, cling to the eternal life to which we are called to. Fight the good fight of the faith. Fight the good fight of the faith. Good fight. And then, having done so, take hold with both fists the hope of eternal life to which you–to which I-to which we are called to.