Surviving or Thriving

My 9-year-old German shepherd still has a puppy spirit but sadly it’s in an old dog’s body.

He loves to chase the ball, and will usually retrieve it all costs. Thus his worn out hips.

Occasionally the ball will land some place just a little out of his reach. He can still get it, he’s just a little too timid. For instance, if there is a box in the room and the ball rolls in it, he hesitates.

My daughter cheers him on by saying, “come on, you’re in survival mode. What if we weren’t around? You’d have to go get it.” Amazingly, most of the time she is able to convince him to go for it.

Sometimes I feel like I need a cheerleader. Problems in my life can appear way bigger than they actually are, and I hesitate. I don’t want to go for it. Survival mode requires fight.

When larger than life-size boxes are in my path, sometimes just getting out of bed and functioning is a chore. Check another day off the calendar.

But, surely God didn’t design us to live like that.

I once complained to Him that if He would only lift me out of my heavy circumstances, I’d be more productive for Him. That these trials were really hindering me from serving Him. What was He thinking?

After He probably laughed Himself silly, the response was, I don’t want you to just survive. I want you to thrive! And not outside of your trials but deep in the midst of it all.

Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

We can’t stop whatever obstacles are in our way, or even our bad hips, but we can find a source of strength. Deep in the midst of whatever life throws at us.

In actuality, we do have a cheerleader. Only He’s saying, “Don’t just survive, thrive!”

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