|Angela E. Arndt|
Overcoming Without Being Overcome
By Angela E. Arndt
Philippians is one of my favorite books in the Bible. It is a compact book so full of deep wisdom and practical direction. One of my favorite verses in this little gem of a book is the last part of the 13 – 14th verses of chapter 3:
“… Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me …” (Philippians 3:13b – 14a, NIV)
Written by Paul around the first century, it still holds truth today. On those days that I can’t move without pain, when I can’t read, write or focus on anything but what must be the most insane sitcoms, I can look at that verse and take comfort.
Did you know that Paul had a chronic illness? His illness was so bad that in his second letter to the church at Corinth, he tells them that he prayed for healing three times, but God told him, “No,” each time.
It was then that Paul, instead of wallowing in self-pity, made a decision to embrace his weakness. In fact, verse 10 of chapter twelve says,
“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10, NIV)
By that he meant that he’d reached a point where he couldn’t do anything (you know you’ve been there), that’s when he let God take over. And God always works in mighty ways. That’s the prize that Paul wanted – the life that God created just for him.
And that’s where we’ve got to find our joy when life get’s to be too much. The prize that God planned for us is just over that hill of pain, discouragement, loneliness or grief. Isn’t that great? We’ve just got to keep climbing until we get to the top.
Bio: Angie enjoyed her career as a corporate trainer and curriculum writer at one of the largest insurance companies in the nation until health issues forced her to retire. But God’s plan was still on track. She’s been writing and speaking ever since about how to find Joy on the Back Roads.