Thursday, September 18, 2014

Precious Mettle

Life is hard sometimes. And sometimes, I'm guilty of asking too much of myself. This particularly season of my life sometimes feels that way.

Because, ok, sometimes God gives you the opportunity to do something incredible, something beyond your wildest imagination, something you couldn't have let yourself dream of even if you could dream because it has just seemed that impossible. And then it becomes possible but you have to fight to get there. You have to want it, and you have to go after it. And somewhere in the course of all that, you forget entirely that God has created this adventure, that He has made possible this opportunity, and you find yourself just going after it....and failing.

You can't do it. You don't know why you ever thought you could do it. It's hard. You don't want to do it. You vaguely remember when you wanted it, but now, you can't even remember why. What used to be doesn't seem so bad any more and you wonder why you ever decided to fight for something better. Because it's very clear it's not in you to get it. It's not in you to get there. You just...can't fight any more. The battle is too big.

You can't win.

By this point, you've likely forgotten that this wasn't your thing to begin with. You didn't ask for this battle; you were invited into it. You weren't told to win; you were called to fight. It wasn't you at all; it was Him. He set this journey before you, but you got to the end of the page and decided to choose your own adventure.

You heard what your options were, the options this world has for winning. The best that science has to offer. The stories of warriors who have fought before you and won. The dream that's started to take shape within your own eyes of what this must look like. All these other factors came in and started shaping the outcome God has already promised and now, you feel like it's up to you to get there. It's up to you to keep walking toward the vision.

Wrong. It's up to you to keep walking toward God. 

It doesn't take knowledge to win your battle. It doesn't take a cunning scheme. You don't have to plan out every step you're going to take; your steps have been planned for you. You just have to keep working yourself forward in faith. You have to decide, every morning when you wake up, to keep fighting. Because you've been called to fight. You have to decide, every day, to keep believing, because He's given you something to believe in. You have to decide, every moment, to take one more bold step forward because God stands before you and calls your name.

You have to choose, one speck of courage at a time, to keep putting yourself through it. Even when it feels like too much. Even when it seems too hard. Even when it seems impossible. Even when you forget why. Even when you don't want to. You keep putting yourself through it because you know how this ends. You know Who has spoken the final word. You know Who has given the victory. Your adventure isn't about victory; it's about faith. It's about courage. It's about integrity and discipline and stamina and focus and strength of character, strength of spirit.

It's about mettle. 

God is shaping you. Refining you in the fire, the way all metals are purified. Gold is purified, silver refined, iron shaped by fire; so, too, is character. You are being purified, refined, shaped. You are being made more and more into the man, or woman, God has created in you. 

If that day comes and you get there, and you get to lay your heart on the thing God has promised you, that's all the better. If you take enough bold, courageous, strong steps forward to get to the place to which He has called you, congratulations. It's an incredible moment. But if you don't...if that day doesn't come, if you don't win, if you don't get there, if your faith fails you and your steps falter and you find that you really just can't do it any more, you're not left empty. You still have mettle. It doesn't sound like much, not for as hard as the journey has been.

But it's precious.

Mettle: noun. Vigor and strength of spirit. Staying quality. 

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