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We Shall Overcome

I was watching a national “survival” test in the comfort of my living room—and I was so glad to be in my comfortable living room! Incomprehensible to me—the demands that were part of the test. Probably the one that left me with my mouth open was the requirement to swim in freezing cold, white-water rapids! (Bill says that my epitaph is going to be: I hate to be cold.) Other tests were running competitively in very rough terrain and crossing deep chasms by way of rope bridges. (I refused to walk out on the bridge at The Royal Gorge and kept my eyes closed when Bill and the boys ran out with great enthusiasm. Silly, silly males!) Descending from excessively high places; long distance swimming; picking up a log and carrying it a prescribed distance in ankle deep, slimy, slick mud, and then finishing with a great rush of adrenalin by running the last miles to the finish line. Can you believe that?

How in the world did those people get in to that horrible, dangerous, demanding contest for survival? They wanted to. That’s it. It was all a “rush” for them. (Perhaps it’s age, but I get a “rush” going to the Japanese Gardens and feeding the fish!)

But let’s talk about the plan. First came the desire to participate, next would be enduring all the red tape necessary to be accepted as one of the participants. I’m sure there were months of training involved—maybe years. And you know that part of the training was entering area meets as often as you could—doing the same sorts of things over and over again. (Fun, fun!) So, you’ve done everything that was required. You’re ready! Training has turned into the real thing. Performance for accolades!

But what if you stopped right there and never entered the BIG ONE? You would never really know what your potential was—what your capacity for pain was—if you were really a “survivor.” You would never have anyone introduce you as “The Greatest!” Greatest describes the reputation of a person who has trained and entered and overcome: A person who has been challenged and finished as the Winner: A person who has been victorious over the odds, who has met all of the obstacles and been triumphant!

Thought provoking question: How will “greatest” ever be used when I am introduced if I have never experienced all of the difficulties and overcome?

We, as Believers, are in “Prep” school. We are in training. Every circumstance that comes into our lives is one of those things required of a contestant who wants to win big! And every time we go through a difficulty, we’re preparing for a more strenuous test. But at the finish line we will receive the awards that we’ve been “running and swimming and climbing and training” and suffering for all along. “Good job! Well done! You’re great! Come into the Kingdom.” Wonderful words for a world-weary child.

Lest you be dismayed thinking about your ability to be an overcomer, remember, you already are an overcomer because Christ lives in you to go through all the tests for you. You are “more than a conqueror” through Jesus Christ. He calmly says, This isn’t your contest. Just stand back and watch. I’ll do it all for you. Marvelous words for a world-weary child. (For further reading: Matthew 25:23, Romans 8:37, II Chronicles 20:15-17).

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.