A certain amount of opposition is a great help to a man. Kites rise against, not with, the wind. ~Lewis Mumford
I was mountain biking today and the wind really began to pick up.
Seems like lately it’s been really windy around here. So here I am, on the side of the mountain, and at one point the wind nearly knocked me over! But if I was going to make it to the other side, I needed to push through. And at that moment I started to compare my ride to life. At times on this journey we feel like we’re being pushed down.
Sometimes we wonder if it would just be easier to go back to where we were. We feel opposition around every corner. Fatigue sets in. Anyone? But then, just as I was about to turn around and go back, something happened. No, the wind (opposition) wasn’t gone, but I started coasting down the hill. And I started to really enjoy the ride. And I said to myself, “this is it”. This is the reward. This is why I peddled so persistently through the wind. It was so fun going down the mountain! I wonder how many times we have been persevering through something really hard and we’re so close to just giving up? You know, throwing in the towel. Have you ever said before, “I’m done”! I have. On another ride just last week I was cycling up an intense hill. I was huffing and puffing and breathing heavy. I mumbled these words, “I’m done”. To which my friend replied, “Oh no your not!” I needed to hear that.
What about those times when we do push through to the other side? How good does it feel to eat the fruit of our labor? The reward. It feels really good. And it also brings us to a new level of faith in God.
There are some of you out there that have thrown up your hands and said, “That’s it God, I am so done”. And God would say to you today, “Oh no you’re not!” Had I turned around and gone back I would have never experienced the top of the mountain, the majestic views, or the joy of coasting down.
I am reminded of the Israelites who also thought about turning around. They were slaves living under the heavy controlling hand of Pharaoh. They worked from sunrise until sun down, with little relief. (You can read the entire account in Exodus chapters 17, 18 and 19.) Moses was sent by God to deliver them. And he did. But even though the Israelites were miserable as slaves, they started complaining and actually telling Moses he should have just left them where they were! (Like it was so much better?!) Exodus 17:1-4~ The whole Israelite community left the desert of Sin, moving from one place to another at the command of the Lord. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water there to drink. 2 They complained to Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses answered, “Why are you complaining? Why are you putting the Lord to the test?” 3 But the people were very thirsty and continued to complain to Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt? To kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” I don’t know about you, but I’m hearing a little sarcasm in that statement!
So what does the wind represent in your life today? What is it that is trying to push you down right before you get your breakthrough? What opposition (wind) in your life is telling you “I wish I could just go back”? My sisters and brothers in Christ, do not let the wind of opposition make you give up. Because your majestic views and your ride down the mountain just might come sooner than you think. Don’t turn around. Face it and ask God what He’s doing through the wind. For some of you, this might just be one step closer to what the Lord is preparing you for. I pray for strength and courage as you move through the wind.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials (winds) of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Philippians 3:13-14 (The Message)
Focused on the Goal
12-14 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
The winds may strong, but don’t turn around and desire the place where you were before. The Lord is doing a new thing. And never forget you can do ALL things through Christ who gives you the strength! Amen