Tuesday, November 16, 2010

An uphill battle

While sitting in the woods listening to all the sounds around me I heard something close by that caught my attention. It was making a racket whatever it was. As I looked down the hill in front of me I saw leaves moving and a piece of wood move. Immediately I thought, "Snake!" I grabbed the binoculars to get a closer look and with amazement I saw a turtle trying it's best to go uphill. He was having quite a battle before him. As this little guy would take a few steps up the hill, he would soon be sliding right back down again. Ever feel like this turtle?

Here at home whenever I am moving really slow or something just isn't going great I say, "Turtle Turtle". Maybe it's because I can relate so well. Here you have this guy who tries his best to get to where he is going and it seems he either has to cross a huge road or travel uphill. Either way, he has a battle ahead of him. He knows the game of duck and cover really well. Hey, if I had a shell I believe I would duck inside and stay until I knew all was clear again. I mean, he moves so slowly, it's as the world is just moving ahead of him. Again, I think we can relate also.

Just the other day when I woke from falling asleep on my back, which is a big no no for me, I had a hard time moving. I couldn't turn. Each movement took everything I had. I just laid there in the floor and laughed out loud saying, "Turtle Turtle!" My husband looks at me and laughs. He wants to help me up, but when I have fallen asleep on my back, I am there for a while. Just like a turtle on his back. He is going to lay there and die unless someone helps him over. Gives him that little gentle push he needs. Once over, he might just duck and cover, but he will bring his head out again when he is ready.

Just like that turtle, I don't give up too easily. I keep trying. Oh, my flesh is screaming to give up, but I feel the gentle tug of the Lord saying, "You can do it, I know you can with Me guiding you." Is there a better cheerleader than the Lord? He is there when we are flat on our backs unable to move. He sees us trying with all our might. He knows the uphill battle before us. He knows just where we have traveled from and where we are trying to go. In other words, He knows our past. He knows our regrets. He knows our pain of yesterday. He sees us trying to move forward. He sees us trying to get to the other side, but sometimes He simply wants us to slow down and just look at where we are today. I know I am always in too big of a hurry for tomorrow. I am ready for yesterday to be over, but there is still so much to be learned. I look too quickly for tomorrow when in today if I slow down enough I will see blessings all around me.

We all have pasts. We have all traveled from somewhere and are trying to get to another place. But before we pack our bags shouldn't we just kind of slow down a pace and take a look around? I mean a good look around at where we came from? I believe we cannot move forward until we have totally said goodbye to yesterday. If we are still holding on to yesterday it is going to be like this turtle trying to get uphill when all he keeps doing is sliding back down. Too many times we are waiting on the forgiveness of others when all we really need to do is forgive ourselves and find redemption in Christ. Forgiveness of others may never come. We must find a peace in our hearts today so that we can find freedom in Christ. Only He can give us true freedom.

The battle up head is hard enough. None of us know what lies for us tomorrow. But that battle is even heavier when we are still carrying the battle of yesterday with us. The climb is going to be that much harder. So what do we do? Let go of yesterday. Simply let go. Give God yesterday and trust Him with today.

Ever hear the saying, "Well, she is coming out of her shell now?" We carry a shell for many reasons. Sometimes it is for protection. Sometimes it is simply out of fear of letting go and letting others see the real us. There is a vulnerability in taking that shell off. Will others accept me? Will other love me? Maybe it's better if I just leave this shell on. What if they find out who I really am? My friends, in who you really are is where Christ will be seen. Might we allow Christ to be our covering and protection. There is beauty is just being you. In watching this turtle I saw his vulnerability in trying to move uphill. He gave up a few times, but he kept going. On this day I never did see him make it up hill, but the next day as my son was hunting he texts me and says, "Mom, I am watching your turtle and he is making it uphill!!"

My friends, it might take us a couple of tries to get up that hill, but we can do it. We can face today knowing we have the strength of the Lord within us. He has given us faith to face everything today. He has given us hope to face tomorrow. How do we let go of yesterday? By keeping our eyes on Him all the way uphill..

Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me."

Colossians 3:12-17 "Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long suffering: bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you must also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."

Colossians 3:2 "Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth."

Philippians 3:12-14 "Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but on thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
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