Last week was one of those weeks in which one wonders “Am I truly going to make it? Is my family truly going to make it?” A series of discouraging events culminating in my son being asked to buy drugs by one of his friends, threw my mind into sinking sand. Rather, I allowed it all to throw my mind into sinking sand.
A heart-wrenching letter from my ex-husband in prison, a longing and a request for the restoration of friendship denied, sleepless nights, sick kids, and a drug pushing “friend” for my son. I skipped church. I sank lower. And the lower I sank, the more I could not find firm ground to stand upon.
It’s funny, how something as small as scripture–or as big as scripture–can have such an impact on a person’s life. It’s because, as I’ve written just recently, scripture is alive. A two-edged sword…piercing our souls. And that is exactly what happened. In the strangest way.
My 14 (yes, I said 14) year old daughter brought home a picture she had colored while at AWANA and she hung it up on our refrigerator. From a coloring book. We kind of laughed together last night when she brought it home, because she hasn’t “colored” in years. But, I guess, you are never too young to color. (unless you are like me who never liked to color.)
This morning I was aggravatedly (yes, that is not a word) throwing out old leftovers from the fridge during a break in work. As I did so, I looked closer at her picture. On it was a scripture verse: 1 Corinthians 15:58:
Of course. There was that word again, “steadfast”. A word that has been important to me since being shown 1 Thessalonians 3:8-10:
8 For now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord. 9 For what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God, 10 as we pray most earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith?
For now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord. Therefore my beloved brothers, be steadfast. And over and over again in the Psalms we are told of God’s steadfast love for us. Some form of “standing fast” is prevalent all throughout scripture.
But the word that caught my eye today was “immovable”. Not only am I called to be steadfast, I am called to be “immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord”. What on earth does that mean?
Stay with me here, this is where it gets tricky.
For me, and for some of you, to stand fast and to be immovable really means to keep moving. To not stagnate out. To not become so mired in the quick sand of life and introversion that it inhibits one from moving forward, from doing the work that God has called us to do. I know I can become so discouraged and despairing that I don’t see the needs that I can meet right in front of my face. And that is sin.
And so for me, to be steadfast means to keep pushing forward. To seek out what God would have me to do. To give my all to parenting, to my job, to my church, but most of all to my Jesus and what He would have me to do.
To be steadfast means that I’ve got to keep moving.
So I slowly drug myself out of the mud and into the study of scripture. And worship. And thanksgiving.
And that’s what we’ve done as a family tonight. We fixed dinner together. We went out and bought our gift for the church’s Angel Tree. We put up the Christmas tree. And now we are getting ready to play a game together.
So, I encourage you–be steadfast and immovable, but continue to move forward. Be steadfast and immovable in your faith, in scripture, in your love for God and your family. And keep moving forward “abounding in the work of the Lord.” Your labor, though discouraging at times, is never in vain.