“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but to all who have loved his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:7-8
Do your kids fight? Mine sure do. I know it’s normal because I can remember fighting frequently with my siblings. As a mom, it’s exhausting and frustrating though to be the constant mediator of these fights, especially when I consider the reasons for the fights. There have been fights because one child looked at another a certain way. There have been fights because one child sat too close to another while they were watching TV. There have been fights between two of my boys over Pokemon cards. There have been fights because “he called me stupid” or “she said I looked ugly”. Nothing causes the fights though like time together in the car. For some reason, my children absolutely lose their mind when they get in the car and lose all self-control over their hands and feet. I’m forced to say things from the driver’s seat like, “Don’t lick your brother” or “Put your feet in the floor” or “Don’t lay on your brother’s carseat.” It’s lovely.
There’s other fights though. It often feels like we’re in a war. There’s a new song out that says “every choice is an act of war.” It sure feels that way sometimes. I’m currently reading through Deuteronomy, and here’s something I realized: God delivered the Israelites out of slavery, but he didn’t call them to a life of ease. Sure, he gave them the promised land, but it didn’t come in a box with a bow. They had to fight for it. God was with them and gave them victory as long as they obeyed him. However, they still had to go to each city and fight. It took a long time, about 6-7 years. That’s a lot of fighting. That’s a long time to be at war. It wasn’t easy for the female Israelites either. While the men were off fighting, the women had to stay behind and take care of the kids and livestock. For 6-7 years.
Fighting wasn’t just in the Old Testament either. Paul frequently referred to the life of a believer as a struggle. In fact, in Ephesians 6, he describes the armor we should wear to face life daily. In verse 12, he says that our struggle is not “against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness…” Our life can feel like a fight because we are most definitely engaged in one. Satan is fighting to draw us away from our Lord. He’s fighting for our children. We must fight back. How do we do that? With the armor of God. Ephesians 6:16 tells us that faith “can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.” Don’t give up. Don’t lose hope or faith. If you do, you let the enemy win. And you know what? If you persevere, there’s a pretty special reward.
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12
If you’re struggling right now, and there are circumstances you face that seem impossible, remember our God is the God of miracles. Here’s a song that I have found uplifting. I pray you do too.