No victory without a fight
Many years ago when we lived in central Florida we made trips to northeast Georgia as often as we could to visit family. Our girls were small at the time and were always excited to get to see Granny and Pa John. Not only did we get the pleasure of the time spent with family, but we usually brought something back with us—Granny’s fine homemade cake or some other goodies. And there were a few gifts extended to us that were not of the edible nature, one of which I will always remember.
Shortly before our visit a young cat had taken up at my daddy’s place. Such strays did not usually get the most welcoming treatment there, but for some reason this young tom cat did, hence, he was awarded the name Lucky. When Lucky was offered to us as a gift, I was easily outnumbered by those two little girls.
We didn’t have a pet carrier for Lucky, so a pasteboard box with holes punched in the top would have to do. We embarked upon our journey with our newly acquired pet; words are not adequate to describe the stench that was soon produced with Lucky as our guest, but we had to keep traveling. Things were going as well as could be expected until we got to Orlando—about an hour from home. Unbeknownst to me, one of our girls had put something on top of Lucky’s box, which eliminated his ventilation and cut off most of his air supply. In desperation for life, that cat managed to push his head through the box, causing our girls to go into panic mode. I looked back long enough to see the cat’s head protruding through the box with eyes wide open and tongue desperately panting for air. Sandra and Jessica were begging me to throw the cat out of the car right there on the expressway!
I refused their request and instead Gale held the perishing animal in her lap (in spite of the source of the foul odor clinging to its body) and provided a chunk of ice for him to lick on until the near death experience was over. Indeed, Lucky was an appropriate name for that cat.
Determination was a vital part of Lucky’s survival on that stressful trip to Lakeland. Had he stayed quiet and not fought for survival, his life could well have ended on that journey. Determination to survive proved to be a powerful asset for him.
There are a lot of spiritual challenges that have negative effects on our lives; challenges that we must stay determined to overcome with God’s help. Temptations of many sorts can seem to cut off our spiritual supply line, yet we are promised that with every temptation there is a way of escape: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13, New International Version).
Lucky had to do some pushing and striving to escape from his unpleasant and life-threatening circumstances, but his determination proved to be effective. In your journey of faith, keep pushing, and never give up or give in to the temptations that seek to suffocate you spiritually. But even if you have failed to overcome some temptation, don’t give up. Instead remember that God forgives and restores those who ask Him to do so. The words of 1 John 2:1-2 offer tremendous hope when we most need it: “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have One Who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”
As someone has said, “There is no victory without a fight.” Stay determined to win.