Never Giving Up
"But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded." - 2 Chronicles 15:7
As a competitive swimmer, I've had my ups and downs. One year, I'd have the best season of my life and the next I'd add time in every event. But the longest plateau I've ever experienced in my sport was during my high school years in the longest event: the mile. For a good three years, I was no where near the time I had gone as a freshman. By the time I was a senior in high school, I was more than ready to be successful in this race. So I took an entire season and devoted it to the mile. Every practice was strictly focused on long distance swimming. I practiced for upwards of 5 hours a day, swimming up to 8 miles a day, tirelessly working towards my one goal.
When the time finally came for my big meet, I felt amazing, better than I'd ever felt in my life. But just three days before the race, I became sick with the flu. I was bedridden with chills, a 101 fever and a sore throat. My coach told me that it would probably be for the best to stay home and skip the meet, but the thought of this devastated me. How could I flush months and months of hard work down the toilet with this one illness? How could it be God's will for me to do all that work for nothing? So I refused. I flew to the meet, still recovering, and prayed. I told God that this race was His, and if it wasn't His will for me to finally find success, then let it be so.
On the day of the race, I woke up and felt God's presence immediately. I was totally healthy! I felt amazing! This was finally my day to succeed! When I finished the race, I touched the wall and saw that I had dropped just over 16 seconds! Sometimes in life we go through plateaus, maybe in sports, in academics, in our relationships. But what we have to remember is that through it all, God is with us and His plan is being put into action. We were meant to struggle so that we would turn to God and tell Him we can't do it alone. I could only find success in my swimming when I confessed to the Lord that I wasn't strong enough to do it alone and I gave myself up to Him. If we tell God that we can't do it alone, He will never let us fail.
- Have you ever had a plateau in your life? If so, what was it?
- How did you overcome it? Did you get divine assistance?
- How can we use our failures to ultimately be successful?
Isaiah 41:10; Jeremiah 29:11; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10