Authentic Living, Philippians, Survive the Summer

For Those Holding On (prayer7)

IMG_2592Hoisting my 3-year-old on my back for a piggyback ride is such joyful support. And holding his hand is one of my most favorite things.   When I reach down and he instinctively grabs it without any words exchanged. Oh yeah…one of the sweet spots of being a mom. The warmth, dependency, connection.

On our daily hiking adventures last week in the mountains, we tromped all over. Up and down. Around and around.

hiking in NC

Amazingly, Reed’s little three-year old, 18 inch legs totally kept up.  He was a “big boy.” He was “strong.” He was “keeping up with his bubbas.” I offered my hand, my help, my support many, many times. There were times when he took hold of it. Then, there were other times when he sputtered,

“No, mommy, I do it. I a big boy.”

boy at Bridal Veil Falls

He refused to take hold of what was being offered to him, what was already his for the taking:

strength,

support,

help to get over the rock,

help to dodge the protruding root.

Help.

Here’s the thing:

although he didn’t take hold of what was already his, what was being offered him, I didn’t leave him. I still had him. I remained right there when he obstinately fell, dusted off the dirt, checked his little knees and elbows for scrapes, kissed him on the check, and dispensed encouragement like,

“All right, buddy. It’s ok. Let’s keep going.”

brothers in NC

In our pursuit to survive the summer (which is sadly almost over- boo hoo!), Paul encourages you and me through his letter to his friends at Philippi to take hold of what is already theirs. What is already ours. What is already mine.

To forget what is behind.

To strain for the goal that is ahead.

To press on.

To win.

To just. keep. going.

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.   – Philippians 3

In the same way, Jesus has already taken hold of me. He has apprehended me. He has seized for me the prize of heaven. The prize of His strength and support and help to be given.

There are times I reach out to take hold of Him and all that He offers (security, worth, love, a future, hope, comfort, rescue, grace).

And there are times when I don’t. I resist His help with a swagger and a defiant, “No. I do it.”

But, He still remains right there to pick me up. Right there to dust off the emotional dirt that clings to me. To give me purpose in the mess I’ve made.

Oh, how much better it is to take hold of what is being offered. To take hold of Him.

Let’s reach. Let’s keep holding on.

Prayer #7: Philippians 3:12-16

Father,

I reach. I stain. I press. I take hold of so many things outside of Your open hand. Flimsy security. Sappy significance. Pitiful peace. Hole-ly hope. Only to be let down, disappointed, and strung out.

May I see clearly all that You offer me.  All that You have already apprehended for me. Give me the guts, the bravery, the wisdom, the self-awareness, and the humility to reach out and take hold of Your helping hand.

I need You in this day. Help me to forget all the mistakes and less-thans of yesterday. I need Your help to navigate around the rocks and roots that form obstacles in my path. I need Your support to sustain me up the mountain of relationships and parenting.

I’m reaching. I’m pressing. I’m straining to You. The ultimate prize.

Thank you. I love you.

survive the summer

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