Another tropical Florida summer is upon us – and do you know what that means? Well yes, it DOES mean swimming, beach time, barbecues, and long bike rides. It also means colorful sundresses, cute baseball hats, and more family time outdoors. Summer humidity in Florida also means – – – MORE SWEAT. Yes! I said it! Some women may be delicate and only “glisten” – but I’m gonna be real with you. If I spend any amount of time outdoors, I sweat. Buckets.
Today is Memorial Day 2017. It is beautiful outside, almost 100 degrees. My beloved husband and I decided to go outside and do some yard work today. We armed ourselves with ice water, Gatorade, lawn mower, blower, hedge clippers, gloves – and off we went!
But there’s more to the story. For a below-the-knee amputee like me, sweating profusely makes my prosthetic leg slide off. ALL the way off. Until it hits the ground. Yep – you read this correctly. Florida summer heat = lots of sweat = my leg. falls. off.
Sometimes in life we are walking along and suddenly the heat turns up. We may find ourselves walking through the fire. Maybe it appears everything has fallen to pieces and hit the ground. Perhaps it takes you off guard. One minute you are walking along and all is well, and the next minute everything falls apart on you. Can you relate?
When my leg falls off there are CHOICES that I can make. I can get angry (which will do me NO good). I can lose heart and give up. I can get discouraged. I can feel sorry for myself because I am “one of those disabled people.” I can let fear take over (I’m afraid I’ll get hurt so I’m not going to take any chances).
OR . . . I can smile, LAUGH, wave at the neighbors, wipe off the sweat, reassemble myself, and KEEP ON GOING!
Attitude is everything!!! Attitude determines our outcome!!!
James 1:2-4 (The Message) tells us what to do when we encounter trials in this life: “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”
In John 16:33 (NLT), Jesus tells His disciples, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” I don’t know about YOU, but that makes me want to SHOUT! Jesus says no matter what I face I can TAKE HEART because (in Him) I am an overcomer! Glory!!!!
Romans 5:3-5 (NLT) tells me to REJOICE when I have problems: “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NLT) urges me to NOT look at the things that can weigh me down, but to keep my eyes on Jesus: “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Listen my friend, sometimes circumstances in life are a mere bump in the road. But other times they threaten to take us out, emotionally, physically, spiritually. John 10:10 tells us that we have a real enemy who wants nothing more than to steal, kill and destroy our hope, our joy, our peace, our fire for God, our ministry, our family, and our destiny. But JESUS tells us that we can TAKE HEART today (John 16:33)!!! He has assured us that He came to give us LIFE and life more abundantly (John 10:10)! Now that’s some more GOOD NEWS!
At this very moment, in the midst of your trials, you are surrounded by a GREAT cloud of witnesses and when you are “in Christ” (truly surrendered to Him, giving Him full reign as Savior and Lord over your life and circumstances) you. ARE. AN. OVERCOMER.
Oh, and guess what? Your circumstances and trials are never JUST about you! People are watching you. They are watching to see if you bail out. They are waiting to see if your faith and your actions line up. They are watching to see if you merely talk the talk or if you also walk the walk (even when your leg falls off and everything falls apart).
My prosthetic leg has taught me something today. Whatever circumstances I am facing, whatever trials I am walking through, I REFUSE to give in to fear, discouragement, hopelessness or self-pity. I CHOOSE this day to focus on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my faith! I CHOOSE to run my race with endurance and BELIEVE the Word of God!
I choose to wipe off the sweat, put my leg back on, put a smile on my face, let the hope and love of God fill my heart, and KEEP! ON! GOING!
Happy Memorial Day! Jesus loves YOU!!!
~ Julie ~