Pure Determination  


Why do we push and struggle and exhaust ourselves, almost to the point of failure -- when all along, our most powerful weapon of war lies neglected?

“Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today… God will fight for you, you need only to be still.”  Exodus 14:13-14

My husband and I have a small farm north of Atlanta.  This past summer, we had gardens and fruit trees, chickens, pigs and ducks.  Most of it is a hobby and a desire to relearn life skills lost in the last few generations.  And, the pigs were no exception.  Between piglets born on our farm or purchased - 14 pigs came and went last year (and, along with them, the desire to continue dealing with those pink-nosed creatures ).

After re-homing the rest of the pigs, only one remained.  Trouble was, she had grown to 750 pounds and had the strength of a bulldozer!  However, we were determined to catch this gentle giant, and stock up the freezer once again. We headed home from church that Sunday and began the impossible task of convincing her to walk onto a trailer that represented her last day on this earth.  Why we thought this would be easy - I have no idea.

The next two hours included chasing her in circles, allowing her to cool off in the creek, creating barricades to encourage her to head in the right direction.  They included bribes of sweet cakes and treats that were her favorite.  There was even a moment where Gilbert was pinned and I was worried for his life.  I came running - just to see her escape from our trap again.  During this two hour ordeal, I found myself praying ( rather obnoxiously ) from time to time… pleading with God to help us.  I knew we could not convince her to board that small trailer without divine intervention; but, it was not I that needed reassurance.  I begged Gilbert to pray with me - the simplest of prayers  - but, he refused, determined to do it on his own.

Finally - after two hours of failure, both Gilbert and Applewood were utterly exhausted.  There was no more fight left in either of them.  I asked my stubborn husband to admit his need, and cry out to God for help.  He relinquished his drive to tackle something in his own strength, and with greeted teeth and clenched fists, he muttered, “Jesus, we need you.  Please help us.”

I kid you not, within two minutes, Applewood walked onto that trailer in such a way - it was as if she had a leash around her neck.  I know it could only have been God moving in the midst the circumstances, and showing Himself faithful!  Even as I pen these words tears prick my eyes as I recall the overwhelming joy of that moment - when God fought for us.

This is such perfect picture of how we tackle life!  We want to accomplish things in our own strength, and our own way.  We push and struggle and exhaust ourselves almost to the point of failure.  When all along - our most powerful weapon of war lies neglected.  Prayer changes things folks!  And, that day - it was my husband’s attention that God really wanted to get.  It was not my prayers He chose to answer, but - the cry of man indeed of his Savior to do the fighting for him.

Prayer: “Oh, Lord - I pray that we would all reach for You and cry out in our need on a daily basis.  You long to be in relationship with every single one of us.  I pray that we would acknowledge our need of Your power and strength in our situation.  We cannot do it without You, Jesus.  Thank you or fighting our battles for us.  It causes our faith to grow deeper and stronger and our allegiance to your Lordship in all things to be cemented in our hearts!  Thank you for Your generosity and Your grace.  You are so good to us!”

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