Do you know what “staying power” means? It’s the ability to maintain an activity or commitment despite fatigue or difficulty; stamina.
I think sometimes we associate staying power with “suck it up” or “keep going” or “don’t stop” or “I got this.” As humans we are resilient creatures who can often go farther than we think we can. It’s like running a marathon. You train for the marathon for months with all those long runs and that gives you the ability to cross the finish line at 26.2 miles.
Right now though, I want you to think of this term in a different light. Think about when you have to rest, or something makes you take a break. Maybe it’s life circumstances or an injury or something – just life. Sometimes these mini seasons come and we want them to be done quickly so we can get back to what we were doing. But the funny thing is sometimes they take longer than we think and we get antsy. We don’t think we can take it any longer. We lose stamina. We get tired of doing what we don’t normally do and get defeated because we can’t have staying power with what we want.
But here’s the thing about those seasons that surprise. They often give us the chance to get perspective, to take a breathe from what we were doing and see maybe what actually needs to be done. I believe our ability to stick with these off seasons are actually what really give us staying power because we’re not in charge of the timetable. We have to trust in God.
It makes me think of that verse in James 1:2-3, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”
Verse 4 says, “Allow perseverance to finish it’s work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.“
Don’t you love that? Allow perseverance to finish its work. Like, just sit still and keep going. But that’s hard for us in this constantly moving world we live in – to sit still.
Let me give you an example in my life…In my house we’re coming out of a crazy winter of sickness on and off. Having a toddler in daycare allows for all sorts of germs to come home. Ellie’s doctor said to me something that comforted me, “Look at it this way you’ll have a Kindergartner whose healthy as a horse!”
So we finally get through it and this past week, I literally bend over the side of the bed the wrong way and throw my back out one morning. I’m incapacitated and have been icing my back for over a week now. Somehow, I was expecting (or maybe wanting) it to be all better by this week. I just want it to be done. But it’s not. Apparently I have a bulging disk and my back is very delicate. Believe me. It is. Cause I hurt very easily. The doctor said to feel completely better you’ve got 4-8 weeks. (WHAT?!) Okay I’ve done this before I can do it again.
So as the weather gets nicer for right now, I can’t go out for walks (at least not for a few weeks). I’ve got to just come in the house after dropping Ellie off. But here’s the beauty in that…
It’s more time spent with the Lord. I find in these seasons of rest, we need to sit back and just let the Lord speak – through his Word, through our circumstances, through the people in our lives. If you listen, He will speak and when He speaks, He strengthens you and gives you wisdom that you can’t get in this world. So, as I walk through this mini-season, I’m just trusting that God has got me close for right now, literally and physically resting in Him to be reminded that He is in charge, that He’s got this (and I don’t) and that things need to happen in His time, not mine.
It’s funny because I have my new book coming out and was trying to get the launch party scheduled for the first weekend of June. It just wasn’t happening. The physical book wasn’t going to be ready and the scheduling just wasn’t working out and I just kept saying, “Okay Lord. You are the God of peace, not chaos, what are you trying to tell me?”
So He uses this time when I’m physically weak and in need of His strength so I lean in a little more and listen a little more intently. Let me tell you – He SURE has been speaking a LOT. Already, there are things that have happened only because I let go of that date I wanted this party to be, things I wouldn’t have found out if it had happened in my time, things I wouldn’t have found out if I wasn’t forced to rest.
Did He cause the back thing? I doubt it. That’s probably my doing because I’ve been pushing myself for months. It’s been really busy. But I do believe He can absolutely use this back thing as a way to reset me, to refocus me and get me lined up with His timing more than mine. It’s times like these, when we don’t want to sit still or rest, that we find staying power in HIM. Why is this important?
Because during these times in our life, we can also feel massive defeat from the enemy. He can beat us up with all kinds of negative thoughts and emotions that make us feel defeated, weak and lots of others things. But of we listen for the Lord, we can make a different choice.
We can ask ourselves, “Am I going to lean into what the Lord has to say? Or am I going to give the enemy the stick to beat myself up?”
It doesn’t mean I won’t get frustrated. But I’ll tell you, when I recognize it – I absolutely will be leaning more into the Lord.
So I don’t know if the Lord is telling you to step back and rest, or He wants you to take that opportunity somehow, someway this summer – but if something does happen that isn’t part of your plan, keep your ears and eyes open. I promise He’s got something good to show you.