Difficulties and challenges are simply part of life in this fallen world. When faced with problems, trials, and tribulations, we have to decide whether we will let them defeat us, or exercise faith and press forward in courage.
I love stories of courage - courage in the face of seemingly insurmountable difficulties. One of my favorite movie moments is in "Last of the Mohicans." Savage Mohawk warriors, bent on revenge, were pursuing Hawkeye, Chingachgook, Uncas, Major Duncan Heyward, Cora Munro, and Alice Munro.
Their gunpowder was wet, and they had no hopes of staving off what would surely be a fatal attack for all of them. The men in the bunch, led by Hawkeye, determined that they would have to leave the women to be captured, re-arm themselves and come back to save the women. That way, there was at least some hope.
When Hawkeye takes leave of Cora, over the thunder of the waterfall pounding outside the cave where they were hiding, Hawkeye (played by Daniel Day Lewis) tells Cora Munro (played by Madeline Stowe) "stay alive...no matter what occurs. I will find you." He assured her - no, promised her - that he would come back. He would return for her.
The Bible tells us that "The eyes of the lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him." (2 Chronicles 16:9). If we want to experience the saving power of God, we must wholly turn our hearts to him, trusting him with everything. When we don't trust him and take matters into our own hands, the result is far short of miraculous, and sometimes it's even disastrous.
In Sunday's sermon, "Let There be Light," Pastor Seth encouraged us to hang on to hope, to know that even when it feels chaotic, even when it feels like we're hanging in mid-air and nobody is there to catch us, and our prayers seem to just hang there - we can go back to the Word of God. Nothing is impossible with God; Gabriel was sent to Mary so long ago to tell her, a virgin, that she was going to have a Son, one who would be the Son of God, who would take away the sin of the world.
No matter what challenges we face - whether it's health-related, a troubled marriage, financial woes, or simply a dream that has never been realized, we must never give up.
Don't give up on your dream. Don't give up on your marriage. Don't give up on your health. Don't ever give up. God is in control. If you'll let Him, He will see you through. The final chapter of your life is yet to be written.
God has already written the story of our lives - we just haven't read it yet.