Three Ways to Run the Race and Finish Strong: (Part 1) When Vigilance Brings Victory

Come along for a three-part series as FirstCov'er Melissa Falde digs into the Bible and delivers methods anyone can apply as we navigate this life in the pursuit of our eternal Home.

Life can sometimes feel like one hurdle after another. It can also feel like others are passing us by as we are barely maintaining a comfortable speed.

What if it doesn't have to be that way? Do we really believe God wants us to merely survive in this life or can we find in His Word that He equips each of us to live a life worthy of His glory?

Truth Check (Gulp)

Earlier this year, our five-year-old son was staring intently at my upper arms – you know it, the back side of the upper arm. That place where tank tops can no longer provide shelter as we shed our sweaters from the cooler months. Our son states innocently enough,

“Mommy, your arms need more muscles.”

Rewind the tape deck back to 20 years ago, and you will find me in the same uncomfortable conversation, about my weight, with an aging relative. Needless to say, I have struggled in being comfortable in my own skin for the majority of my life.

Whether it is weight or wrinkles, academics or acne, I imagine that most women have felt second best at least one point in their lives. Even the most highly regarded of royalty must compare herself to another beauty, right?

What Does the Bible Say?

I ran my finger across the book of Proverbs recently, the ‘Proverbs 31 woman’, the perfect wife of noble character. Yes, that one. Upon first glance, it seems I don’t measure up – figuratively and realistically speaking.  But then I looked deeper at each verse – and that, my friends, changed everything.

Let’s Dig In

Proverbs 31:17 says, “She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.”  Wait a minute – my dear five-year-old boy, do you know the work Mommy’s arms have done today?

These arms have hung up the laundry on the line, they have planted vegetables in the garden, and they have washed and dried, cooked and laundered. They have held and hugged when scrapes happen on the sidewalk. These arms have swept floors and sidelined arguments, they have chopped and cooked. These arms have sustained my tired hands as they are lifted up to pray and to hold my eyebrows up while applying mascara. My dear Son, these arms have done all these things in a mere 24 hours.

"She works with eager hands, she provides food for her family, she opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. She makes coverings for her bed." (Excerpts from Proverbs 31:13-22)

God’s instruction for the noble woman shines a light on two very important features of our bodies – our hands and arms. Women were designed in Genesis 2:18 to be the helper to Adam. Proverbs 31 then provides wives the particulars of our God-given responsibility.

Here Comes the How

Can we really apply these beautiful tasks into our daily lives, and more importantly, run that long race of seeking grace, when scrambling schedules and finicky finances of the world put a damper on our desires of the Lord?

The first (of three) ways to bring biblical perfection to an imperfect world (and wife):

1. When Vigilance Brings Victory

Colossians 4:2 provides us all with an important life instruction, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”

There have been countless times when I have been in the grocery store, toting my tribe, and a sweet stranger remarks about how full my hands are. I follow this with a polite smile and mention something about the fullness of my heart and carry on with the beautiful chaos of the day.

The book of Good News is fuller than our shopping carts, with words jumping off the page reminding us to "...be thankful in all circumstances..." (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

In fact, this is God’s will for us. Created in His image, His perfect design for us is to stay vigilant in this dark, restless world. He desires an intimate, personal relationship with you and with me.

He is always near to us, pursuing us.

But if we are not regularly seeking Him and being refreshed in His Word and His wonder, we will be an easy target to fall away.

Fight vs Flee

1 Peter 5:8-9 reminds us to “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.”

It is easy for me to claim that I don't want to be an easy target for the enemy. But we are fighting a relentless enemy, one who preys on us and finds joy in our misery.

In the book, "Brave Moms, Brave Kids: A Battle Plan for Raising Heroes", author Lee Nienhuis pens,

"Satan is also a created being with a built-in, seared fear capacity, but with an agenda to rule creation as well. He doesn't create anything that has not been before - only God does that - so his primary means of working is to take anything God creates, which is invariably good, and twist it. Repurpose it, if you will."

Don’t be an easy target for the enemy.  God has written a play book for our battle, He has given us the armor for when we engage the enemy and He has promised to protect us.

Subscribe to the FirstCov blog on the right side of your screen, then, watch your inbox for the next of our three-part series titled, "From Endurance to Eternity". 

We'd love to hear ways that you have overcome hurdles and how you kept your faith in the center of your life in the day to day grind.

Take it to the comments for a conversation!

 

2 Responses

  1. Thank you Melissa for your wise words and vulnerability. I can't tell you how much I needed to read this on this morning!! God never ceases to amaze me in showing his love and care for us. So blessed to have you in our church and in my life
    • Melissa Falde
      Candace thank you for reading and for your very kind comment! I love that God even uses the timing of things, such as an article or even a praise song to uplift and encourage us when we need it. I know in the article I mentioned that the enemy is relentless in his attacks on us, but even more so, that our Almighty God is the omniscient relentless force that can fight off those attacks for us - a vastness of love for each of His children that we will never fully grasp on this side of Heaven. - Melissa

Leave a comment