Today we have a guest-post from my good friend Cameron Brice. This will be sure to encourage you and make you laugh so I hope you enjoy it!
Eph. 6:13-14 “… and having done all to stand, stand therefore!…”
When I was younger, maybe around 11, me, my cousin, and my older brother set off in exploration of a lake that we were visiting with my mother’s side of the family. The setting of the lake was amongst the vast desert plans of New Mexico, with a dry granger full of rocks, dust, and tumble weeds. It was the perfect atmosphere for a few young pioneers to hop in a blow up raft and paddle hard into the horizon. Our journey began early in the morning and after about 4 hours of rowing the blazing West Coast sun had risen high above our heads. Needless to say it was time to jump in the water and have ourselves a swim. I still remember the blast of “cool watery goodness” as I cannon balled out of our unsteady boat and into the chilled water. A sigh of relief departed from my lips and I drifted off into a daydream while floating along side the raft in my life vest. I thought to myself,”This is the life! I could stay out here for hours.” Little did I know my dream was soon to come true.
While I once was a teenager I can honestly say that I have no idea why the things that go through their heads … ACTUALLY go through their heads. Somewhere between our departure, and our act of desperately longing to cool off; my brother had devised a plan to leave me and my cousin Sean in the middle of the lake. He slowly climbed into the raft, looked at us with a smug little smile, and began to row away. At first my cousin and I laughed at his seemingly funny prank, but it wasn’t long before we recognized that this was no joke. We watched my now saved brothers boat slowly dissappear towards shore. A sense of urgency rushed over me and my cousin, and what seemed like an epic game of 21-questions broke out between us:
”What are we going to do?”
“What if we die out here?”
“Why would he do that to us?”
Our young thoughts wondered and rushed from story to story on what we believed might happen to us in that vast New Mexico lake, until the light bulb of our prepubescent minds came on. We knew what we had to do! If we were going to survive this unfortunate event we were going to have to swim! At eleven years old I and my cousin were going to have to do what probably no preteen had done before! We tightened our life vest, took hold of whatever strength we had, and pressed towards shore.
There was no time for breaks. There was no time for looking back we had to make it to our destination. The image of pilgrims firmly planting there legs on the dry ground of Plymouth Rock played in my head. I could literally see myself getting to land and making myself a sandwich (at eleven that was probably the most important thing in my life.) For what seemed like hours we toiled. We beat against that water with all we had, until finally a faint glance of land. Our hearts pounded with excitement, but suddenly the unexpected happened.
Our tiny little bodies gave out. My body seized up and I literally couldn’t move a muscle. The feeling of defeat washed over us and I started crying. I was overwhelmed to be so close to my destination and unable to attain the goal before me.
A lot of times in life we end up in situations metaphorically compared to this. We find ourselves stranded. Almost like all the people who were supposed to care for us just left. Maybe we had already worked so hard to get to an area in life and find ourselves lost in the middle of no where. However, we decide even though the situation seems against us we are going to swim. We are going to take that initial stand. We go, and we go, and we go! There is no time for breaks, no time for looking back. We have the goal, we can imagine ourselves on the dry ground, we can even begin to see that dry ground! But then we take another hit. Our faith fails us, or we collapse from exhaustion. We are so close! My marriage was getting there! My job was finally starting to look up! My son or daughter was about to come home!
It is at this moment in life that we face a choice. We can give up. We can let our flesh and the devil take what we know is ours. Or we can STAND THEREFORE!
You see it was soon after my body seized up that I looked over at my cousin who, for all intensive purposes, is God in our story. I said to him,”what are we going to do?” With a gleam of hope he looked right into my eyes and sternly said,”we are going to make it to shore.” He began to encourage me, and I him. The more we spoke the more of a second wind we could feel coming on. Our hearts picked up speed again! Our bodies were recharged by the words coming out of our mouths! With a shout we pounded towards shore and within ten minutes we were hugging an kissing the ground! We made it!
You see YOUR faith may fail, YOUR body might get tired, YOUR heart may lose hope. But God is looking deep into your eyes saying,”child having done all to stand, STAND THEREFORE!“
I believe that if you make your choice today in whatever situation you might be in, to stand therefore. That you can achieve whatever you are believing for. You can make it to dry ground. Begin to believe for the impossible. Begin to uncover things you lost faith for. Then look into the eyes of God, hear His command to stand therefore, and DO IT! There is no time to waste.
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