Do you ever feel like just throwing in the towel? You’re tired of going around the same mountain over and over again. You feel like you may never get the victory, may never see the change come, may never experience the freedom you are craving.
I felt like giving up this weekend. Same old problem raised its ugly head again in my blended family. Lord, will it ever change? Will we ever get to the place where this is just not an issue anymore?
I was reminded of scripture that says in Philippians 3:13 where Paul is talking about pressing on toward the goal. He says:
“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things”.
What he is saying is none of us has arrived but if we are wise, and mature, we will continue to press on. The Lord says to learn to be content in whatever circumstances you find yourself in. He said this through Paul who was put in prison, beaten, scorned, shipwrecked and the list could go on about what Paul had to endure. But he learned the secret of being content in whatever circumstance he found himself in. Most of us have not been imprisoned for our love of Christ, like Paul was, and he learned to be content there. He learned the secret of walking in the joy of the Lord, which was provided for us at the Cross. The secret to walking like this? It’s a choice. We must continue to choose to keep our eyes on the goal, Jesus Christ Himself, and all that He has provided for us. We didn’t just receive salvation at the Cross (as though that wouldn’t have been enough) but He also purchased peace and joy and wisdom and truth. We can have all of these if we so choose to keep our eyes on the prize and of course, our prize is Jesus Himself.
So, what mountain are you going round and round on in your blended family? Are you having trouble communicating? Does your spouse favor their children noticeably over yours? Has resentment taken hold in your family?
The antidote to all of these problems is relationship in Christ and through His grace, choosing to live life His Way. I’m telling you it’s not easy but it’s always best. His ways are contrary to the world’s. When we don’t like someone, He asks us to love our enemies. When someone just irritates us to no end, He asks us to turn the other cheek. When we are mistreated, God asks us to let Him retaliate for us because He is our Defender. Now this doesn’t mean we let others just walk all over us, we should have healthy boundaries and our needs need to be expressed, heard and acted upon. We are not doormats. But by getting the mind of Christ before we react to these situations, we can move forward in confidence and stand firm in our decisions.
One dear friend had the situation in her blended family where her stepdaughter followed her around all day long talking. The girl didn’t want her there, after all, she was daddy’s little girl, and now she had to share him, but she needed stepmom there. She would talk about nothing, irritating my friend to no end. Stepmom would occasionally acknowledge what she was saying, and give her a hug and continue working and doing what she needed to do around the house. She chose to turn the other cheek to a little girl who was irritating her to no end.
Today however, because she chose to love this little girl, they are good friends. The irritation has been replaced with genuine love and commitment. This is how God works. He redeems, He reconciles if we don’t give up. Yes, we may go round the same mountain more times than we’d like, and we may get discouraged, but please, do not agree with the enemy who wants you to believe that things will never get better or change. They will, God’s principles work and if we stand firm, things will change. We have a real enemy who wants to destroy everything that is good in our lives. Don’t let him. He is called the Accuser of the Brethren. He accuses us day and night before the Lord but also to each other. He whispers in our ears: Did you see what they did? Can you believe they said that? And he wants to make the trouble in our lives way bigger than it really might be.
Focus on where you are focusing. Are you focusing on Jesus, the One who can help you through any trial and says about us “We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us” or are we focusing so much on our problem that is has grown bigger than God? He is bigger than anything the enemy can throw at us, but we have to choose to continue to believe that and focus on where we are focusing.
We are members of one Body. We need each other. Should you need someone to come alongside for a time in your blended family or in another area, I am available.
Remember to focus on the Lord, we have the victory through Him. He who is in us is stronger than he who is in the world.