Don’t give up! Keep trying. Said Charlie.
It started out as a normal day on the boat. We were on the island and trying to catch some fish.
We actually caught a lot of fish. And big ones too for so early in the season. Charlie was really excited, however, one of us wasn’t catching many fish (my husband). So Charlie was encouraging him, telling him to not give up. And realistically, you will never catch any fish if you give up.
We always try to teach our kids to be careful. And casting our fishing poles was high on the list of being careful. Because well the hooks could hurt people around you.
So we catch a lot of fish, we are about to pack up, and Charlie casts his pole one last time. And he starts freaking out. He was hysterically crying, and it was because when he was casting, he got the hook caught in his back.
We were on the island, so it wasn’t going to be quick getting to any kind of doctor, and hook was in his back pretty good. Lucky him, he got to take a ride on the police boat to get him to the ER faster.
Once at the ER they took the hook out in like 2 minutes… but there was something else that lingered. Fear, and with that, not wanting to fish.
Lessons from my dad.
My dad called me a day or so later and said “I am taking Charlie fishing”. I knew exactly why he was doing it too. He didn’t want Charlie to develop a deep fear. So he wanted him to try again, and my dad would help him to ensure that he wouldn’t hook himself again.
That wasn’t the first time my dad had done that. Shortly after I got my license, I got into a car accident. It was my fault and I was young and scared. He made me drive that night. Because he knew that if I didn’t, the fear would take root. He was right.
I am a quitter. I have been most of my life. As soon as I mess up, I am done.
And when life is hard, and there is pain, and it seems like keep messing up, it is easy to think that you might as well just give up the fight. Because you are not sure you will make it.
The battle win never be won, if you give up the fight.
But have you ever heard the line “what is the secret to success”? We can ask the question a different way. How do you finish a race? Win the battle that we may seem to be loosing?
(And it is honestly not really a secret… not when God gave us His word)
The secret to success is to not give up. And the only way to finish the race, is to endure keeping your eyes on Jesus.
Let’s look at Moses. The task at hand seemed a bit impossible, from the very beginning. Getting the Israelites out of Egypt seemed hard enough, but even harder because of the fact that Moses had been in Midian for like 40 years. He had fled Egypt when Pharaoh was trying to kill him. It really didn’t seem like a good idea to go back. He had tried to encourage peace between 2 of the Israelites and they responded to him “who made you ruler?”
Yeah, honestly, if I were Moses, I wouldn’t be that confident either. His response to God telling him to go back to Egypt and lead His people out of captivity would have been mine. “Who am I?”
“I will be with you.”- Exodus 3:12
God promised to be with Moses. But it wasn’t going to be easy. It was going to get harder before it got better. And honestly, if I were to write out every hurdle they had to face to get out from Pharaoh’s rule, I probably would have given up at hurdle number 2.
First Moses had to get over his fear and insecurity. And he did that by remembering and believing that God was who He said He was. He was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. What God says, God will do.
Then he had to hope that the Israelites would believe in the plan he was going to layout for them. They did, and when they heard that the Lord was concerned about them, they bowed down and worshipped Him.
But then it got harder. Pharaoh didn’t want the people taken away from the labor. So he made their work harder. But not really just harder, he made it impossible.
But God spoke again, and promised deliverance.
God’s people were not meant for Egypt, but getting out wasn’t going to be easy.
But let us not forget the 10 plagues, and Pharaoh constantly changing his mind about letting them go. At least with a lot of the plagues the Israelites were protected from a lot the harm that was bestowed upon Egypt.
Through it all Moses and Aaron, believed God was who He was, and did what exactly what God had said. And eventually, Pharaoh let God’s people go.
The Red Sea parted, and God’s people were free. And when they were free, they sang God’s praises. They declared His power over their enemies, they praised His name, and sang that His name was Yahweh. He was who He said He was.
Many times, the purpose of our battles, is to show the greatness of God’s power. Things will get worse before they get better to show His goodness and faithfulness.
The greater the battle, the greater the victory. And the greater the victory, the greater the praise God rightly receives.
How To Not Give Up.
So how to we win the race? Have victory in the battle? We hear His word, we remember who He is, and keep putting one foot in front of the other, having the confidence in Him that He will do what He said He will do. He is God. He is able.
And then when He frees His people, we sing His praises, knowing that the Lord is the Lord, and He alone will fight the battle, as He reminds us to have courage.