Keeping On

I don’t know how your year has been, but mine has been a struggle. Here we are in the last quarter of 2018, and I like to look back on the year to see where I am compared to what I wanted to accomplish. The things I wanted to get, I’m still trying to get. The goals I wanted to reach, I’m still trying to reach. The levels I wanted to achieve, the markers to meet–you get it. I’m still working toward most of what I wanted to attain this year.

Like a hike, where you can see a landmark up on a mountain that you make a target to aim for, believing you will be standing there before long, but there was a valley hidden from your view that you have to cross. And then a river. And then a huge section of fallen trees that obscure the trail and you have to pick your way through slowly, with much difficulty.

Still, you know you are going the right direction; it’s just taking so much more time and energy, and in real life, money, too. The path to the prize is slower, steeper, longer and more expensive than you could have imagined but there’s no going back. You’ve come too far to turn around and you are  in no place to just quit and sit where you are. You will have gained nothing. The truth is, you’d rather die trying to accomplish your dreams than to give up anyway, so there is no other option but to continue.

And you get glimpses of the prize now and then, still a ways off, up higher than where you are, but you are moving toward it; you can feel it– soon you will be there.

Also, it’s not like it’s completely horrible along the way! No, it’s wonderful! There are so many good things on the journey. There are the people you love to spend time with, and the Presence of God, and how he shows you over and over he is with you. There are amazing gifts along the way of love, peace, joy, hope, generosity, grace, mercy. What a beautiful life it is, that even in the midst of our darkest hour, God gives us these intangibles, these gifts no one can buy.  

I have some Scriptures that I hold onto to remind me to keep on. I write them on index cards and have them on the wall in front of my desk at home where I do my studying. Maybe they will help you too.

Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said will be accomplished.” Luke 1:45

So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadow boxing.” 1 Corinthians 9:26

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

“I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.” John 17:4

Meet Tammy Bailey

Tammy Bailey serves at Hillcrest Church with her husband, Rick. Although her kids are grown, she is still learning and growing in her relationship with Jesus. She is an awed child of God.

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