I love the autumn for several reasons. I love seeing God's art canvas change with radiant colors and leaves I watched bud up in the spring then didn't pay any attention to in the summer now mesmerizing me with their brilliant colors. I love the crisp air and warming up around bonfires. I love the fall spices, baked goodies, warm dishes like chilis and stews, all the varieties of squash, warm herbal teas, and warm lemon water. And as much as I miss the longer hours of sunlight, I love the opportunity to change gears into a more relaxing season of introspection, slowing down to talk with friends and family, taking advantage of the darker hours to snuggle up and read a book by the fireplace and even get in some extra sleep.
I recently had the opportunity to do a little of that, just before the time change. Part of it included a hike over 7 miles in the beautiful Georgia mountains. As you may know, I've experienced knee problems since an injury a couple of years ago. I'm thankful for all the prayers for my healing. Though it took a lot of physical therapy and even more time, I'm back to about 90%, where some days I feel like I'm at 100 and others can be more challenging.
The hike was so beautiful, but the elevations were quite steep and became painful for me when I descended. If you've never had this experience, there's nothing like being in the middle of the forest knowing how much ground you have to cover to get back when you're in pain and fear you might not make it.
At one point I got separated from my hiking partner and knew the only way I could find my husband was to keep going, to keep moving forward the best I could. I also knew I wasn't going to make it alone. That's when I started talking to God, right there in the middle of the forest, asking for His strength to help me finish. I remembered 2 Corinthians 12:9 "Each time he said, 'My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness,' and verse 10b "For when I am weak, then I am strong."
I drew courage from Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." I was reminded that I can do hard things. It might take me a while, it might be painful, but I can do it. And so can you. Looking back, I'm now grateful that I was alone in the forest for a while because I had to lean on God and push myself. It was a great exercise of faith and strengthened my resolve in the end.
You see, Friend, when we go through difficult times, it's an opportunity to lean on God and also have faith in ourselves. I got to the point in the forest where I knew my struggle was more mental than physical. The power of the mind is amazing, and we can do amazing things when we take our thoughts captive, remember God's Word, live His Word, and turn to Him for help. He's our loving Father who takes pleasure in helping His children. No matter what you're going through today, or what challenges lie ahead, YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS. I encourage you to step into this next season without trepidation but boldly and courageously to live out your calling for God's glory.
I want to invite you to join me on a 6-Day Healthy Holiday Habits Challenge to learn ways to honor God's temple this holiday season. I know the holidays aren't necessarily a time when we typically think of God's temple, but I want to invite you to a different experience. Let's glorify God in our bodies this season. Just go here to register. Can't wait to do it with you!
In Love & Service,