“Every defining moment of my life began at a wall…these walls ultimately made me better with this caveat, if I responded properly at the wall.” Brad PowellI’ve coincidentally heard 3 messages about “hitting the wall” this week, so I think the Lord may be suggesting that not only I, but my fellow weight loss partners, might be hitting a wall. Have you hit one yet? I went 4 days of working hard without apparently losing any weight, and then the next day I was up a half a pound instead of down! 😦 I was so discouraged! However, yesterday I was down and today I was happily surprised to be down a whole pound.
If you’re struggling to keep on track on your weight loss journey, may I encourage you with some quotey-thoughts (as in, I tried, but the quotes are doubtless partly paraphrases) I learned from Brad Powell’s inspirational message, drawn from the life of Jacob?
http://northridgechurch.com/talks/the-wall/wrestling/ (If you’ve got time for the entire message, which is well worth the time!)
There’s only one thing we can do at the wall if we want to get through: Wrestle. We tend to wrestle with ourselves, with others, with our circumstances…and ultimately with God, because we know that God is all-powerful and could stop our problems if he wanted to. We also struggle with evil. Ephesians 6:12 teaches that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” At the wall Satan loves to show up and tempt us to stop trusting God. It’s all too easy to forget what God has told us, that we’re fearfully and wonderfully made; that He has a plan for us; that He can take all our problems and turn them into something good. If we listen to the wrong voice, we’ll make the wrong choice. Keep in mind and embrace these truths: God uses the wall to get us where He wants us, which is where we’ll find joy and contentment…where we’ll live up to being what He wants us to be. The second truth is that Satan wants to use the wall to keep us from getting where God wants us to be. Whose voice will we listen to, and who’s going to win at the wall? All too often, we wrestle with ourselves based on Satan’s deception, not God’s truth. Psalm 13 is a beautiful picture of the way David, and Jacob, and you and I often feel as we hit a wall. We need to keep trusting God at the wall like Jacob, who cried out, “I will not let you go unless you bless me” (Genesis 32:26, NKJV). Don’t be willing to surrender to defeat, keep believing that it’s worth the effort to get through the wall and don’t give up. Let’s give everything we can to break through. Notice what Jacob did: he prayed, he obeyed, he went home, he worshiped God, he honored God, he did everything he could, but ultimately he kept holding on to God, knowing that only God could deliver him from an army of 400 men! Once God takes us through the wall, we need to embrace our new reality. We never come away from the wall the same as we were before. Life is different. Jacob always had a limp afterward, but he wasn’t bitter. He used the lessons to make him a better person. When God takes us through the wall, we need to rest up, and then get ready for the next wall! Life is a marathon, because as long as we’re alive, we’ll be hitting walls. “Making the choice to trust God with yesterday’s wall isn’t enough. If you want God to get you where He wants you, you have to make the choice to trust him today and every day.”
How about you and me? Will we put our trust in God and allow our next wall to become a positively defining moment in our lives?
5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
8 It will be health to your flesh,
And strength to your bones.”
[and hopefully some weight loss while we’re at it! 🙂 ]
Proverbs 3:5-8 (NKJV)
(The pictures are from my trip to Israel. The first one shows the Eastern Wall, which has been sealed by the Jews as they await their Messiah’s coming [as do we Christians, although we believe it will be His return]. The second picture is of prayers that have been stuffed into the cracks of the Western Wall [“Wailing Wall”], which is the closest place Jewish people can get to the Holy of Holies in the Old Temple. The third picture is of one of the roads leading through the wall around Jerusalem.)