There’s that saying; “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” but in reality I think when the going gets tough even the toughest of us will eventually cave. We cave to the pressure that society puts on us to get the best job, earn the most money, have the nicest car and the biggest house. We cave to the magazines that tell us our body doesn’t look how it should – it’s too fat, or too thin, we’re too tall, too short. We cave to the adverts telling us to eat this and don’t drink that, to work out this way and avoid exercising that way.
Why do we cave to all the things that let’s face it don’t really matter?? Because, deep down we’re not as tough as we think we are. We want to be accepted, loved, appreciated by the world. We want to fit in. And yet we’re called to be the opposite of that. Called to be different, to stand out. We’re called to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, who was ‘despised and rejected by men’ [Isaiah 53:3].
I’ve recently coined my own saying “when the waiting gets tough, the tough…” You might be wondering why there isn’t an end to my saying, well that’s because everyday there is a choice to make, do I be tough and keep going, be tough and pretend the waiting doesn’t hurt, be tough and keep smiling OR do I give up the tough act and get on my knees in prayer, do I confess that I am in fact not tough at all, I am weak and fragile and that I can’t keep going?
What I’ve realised over the past month is that in trying to be tough, to keep going, to not show any weakness is that I’ve not gone anywhere but backwards. I’ve not written, I’ve not really prayed, I’ve hardly picked up the word and I’ve not served my church anywhere near as well as I know I can. But when, this weekend, I found myself on my knees admitting that I wasn’t tough at all, and that the waiting was killing me, I somehow found strength.
I’ve stopped pretending now that this waiting isn’t tough, and I’ve stopped pretending that I’m tough enough to beat it.
I’m not tough enough to beat anything. That’s why I need HIM, why I need Jesus. Only in these past days of waking up to tell Him that it hurts, that I don’t know where I’m going, or how to get wherever that might be have I found the strength to make it through the day. I’ve drawn each morning on what He did on the Cross for me, where he was tough enough to surrender and in doing so beat sin and death for me.
That’s the beauty of surrendering to the King, he’s already conquered everything and so he carries us through.
I’ve decided therefore to end my saying, which I repeat to myself daily, like this: “When the waiting gets tough, the tough… lift up empty hands to King Jesus and let him carry them.”
If you’re waiting, and struggling and trying to be tough, stop. Fall to your knees, raise up empty hands and ask the King, your dearest Papa to carry you instead.