We will all go through situations in life. Many times, we think the phrase “I’m going through something” is bad news, but if we view it properly, we realize going through is good-it means we’re not stuck! We may be facing difficulties, but at least we are moving forward.
You may have heard the name Wilma Rudolph. Perhaps you know of her as an outstanding female athlete whose story was told in the television movie Wilma and whose image appeared on a United States postage stamp. Indeed, this phenomenal runner, coach, and sports commentator gained remarkable recognition and acclaim, but do you have any idea what it cost her to achieve her goals and live her dreams?
She was born prematurely, the twentieth of twenty-two children in a poor family reeling from the impact of the Great Depression. In addition to suffering scarlet fever and double pneumonia as an infant, she was afflicted with polio from birth and had to be driven fifty miles twice a week to a hospital for African-Americans, where she received treatment.
In addition, her mother had to rub her legs four times each day for years. At one point, the doctors told her she would never walk, but eventually she proved them wrong and walked with a brace until she was nine years old. By the time she was twelve, she could finally walk normally, and within four short years, at age sixteen, she won her first Olympic medal. Four years later, at the 1960 Olympics in Rome, she earned gold medals in three events and became an international superstar.
The little girl who was told she would never walk ended up learning to run better and faster than any other woman in the world. But she did not do it without pain, without sacrifice, without discipline, or without paying a price. She wanted to see her desires fulfilled and she did-because she never gave up.
To be people who never give up, we must learn to press past both natural obstacles, as Wilma Rudolph did, and unseen forces such as anger, unforgiveness, guilt, shame and fear. We need to learn to overcome these issues in our life so we can press through anything that is holding us back and go on to be everything God intends for us to be. Press in, press on, press through, and pay the price now so you can reach your goals and your full potential later.
The Bible even tells us that we will suffer and encounter trials, so we must learn to deal with them in ways that help us overcome them instead of letting them overcome us. We need to be balanced in our approach to growth and adversity because growth is not an automatic result of difficulty. Hardships do not necessarily produce growth or strength in us-it’s just not that simple. Some people shrink back or fall apart when difficulties arise. They don’t always realize that there is a cost that comes with victory.
We grow when we determine to think and behave in godly ways in the midst of adversity-when we do what we know is right, even when it is difficult, uncomfortable, or inconvenient. We grow spiritually, and we are strengthened. We may have to do what is right for a long time before we feel it is paying off, but if we stay faithful and refuse to give up, good results will come. Once we get through the adversities and challenges we face, we emerge as better people than we were when we went into them.
I want to share a verse with you that has given me courage and comfort through many battles in my life. I believe it will also encourage you. Habakkuk 3:19 says, The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]! (The Amplified Bible).
Determine that you will go all the way through every difficulty you might ever face in life, recognizing that it will cost you something. Make the decision now to keep going forward, no matter how difficult it is. I can guarantee you’ll be glad you did.