It was a warm summer’s night in the evening back in 2012. I was driving through the outback in Western Australia towards Perth, where I was living at the time. I was going against all advice I had been given: never drive in the outback at night.
AN UNEXPECTED FIGHT
I had already dodged two kangaroos on the journey and felt pretty Crocodile Dundee. But as I took a long, steep corner, a massive barn owl stared me eye to eye as the headlights lit up its face. Wack! It was that quick, not even a chance to brake.
This was devastating. I prayed, ‘I’m so sorry Lord, that was your creation. I didn’t see it’, and made my way carefully the remaining 300km back to Perth. I went to bed, feeling I had repented enough over the whole owl situation.
When heading to work the next day, I opened my car door and was totally shocked. Out from under the car came the owl, alive and kicking and ready to throw down. The owl attacked me, pecking and flapping. After what seemed like hours (20 seconds), off the owl went, content that it had inflicted enough punishment on me.
I have to say I was impressed. That owl had something we all could use more; it could hold on. It had a reason to hold on for. Fair play. I think I still have scratch scars on my calves, and owls now terrify me!
How do you feel at this moment, friend?
Do you feel like giving up on the will of God for your life, His Kingdom coming to earth?
I encourage you to keep persevering. If you can create a reason to persevere (for the right causes, of course), it will produce more character and freedom than letting go ever could.
We see Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane pray. He prays as if He wants to give up. He prays as He feels like letting go of what God has called Him to do.
‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.’ (Matthew 26:39).
We all know how the story goes. Jesus does get up off the floor, and he does go to the cross for all of humanity. What Jesus endured on the cross is an amazing picture of how Jesus overcomes feeling, emotion and perseveres in the will of God.
‘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.
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.’ (Hebrews 12:1-3).
SHARPEN YOUR TALONS
Just because you’ve been knocked down doesn’t mean it’s over. If you hold on a little bit more, the thing that’s knocked you down could be in for a massive surprise.
Sharpen your talons and follow Jesus in perseverance:
1. Surrender your will to the Father’s will and push on with what He has called you (or us) to.
2. Create a picture of the future: why are we doing what we’re doing?
It’s ‘for the joy set before Him, he endured the cross’. Jesus considered us and the joy that would come as he persevered.
3. Consider Him.
Since Jesus modelled it, we know we can do the same. Jesus can be our strength through the Holy Spirit.
So, friend, my encouragement is this: hold on. Think of the joy He has prepared on the other side. Everything worthwhile in life is a battle in some way. For Jesus, the worthwhile battle was us. It was you.