by Erwin McManus on Youversion
THE WARRIOR STANDS IN THE PAIN
The warrior stands in their pain. Their wounds are their badge of honor. Every battle is first fought within. Every victory secured for your future is first fought for in your struggle for faith. To live in the light, you must first face your inner darkness. Your external battles are won or lost in your inner world. You cannot separate world peace from inner peace.
The battles we fight become inescapably both internal and external. Victory in one battle does not secure us victory in another. You may be winning the battle within to live your most heroic and courageous life and yet still lose your job and find yourself in financial peril. You can in the same moment that you achieved the pinnacle of success in your career come home to face the end of your marriage.
The prophet Elijah called down fire from heaven and proved to the prophets of Baal that the Lord was the one true God. After this defining moment in Elijah’s life, in which the presence and power of God was undeniable, Jezebel sent a message to Elijah promising his death and Elijah fled. He sat down under a bush and, instead of praying to see God’s power again, he prayed that God would take his life. Life carries great weight, and if you find the courage to take on great battles, you will feel an even greater weight that will sometimes seem more than you can bear.
Even Jesus did not want to face his darkest moment alone. When Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before he was to die on the cross, he chose to take three of his closest friends with him. When you need to run, don’t run from God; run to him. Don’t run from the people you need in your life; run to them.
Hidden in your fears is the faith that you’re searching for. If you want to meet God, stand in your fears. Stand in your pain. Stand when everything inside you tells you to withdraw. I want you to know that God will give you the strength you need not simply to face the challenges that are right in front of you but to continue the journey that awaits. This is the profound nature of God – that when we are weak, he is strong. When we have lost our strength, he replenishes it. You are a warrior of peace. Do not fear the battle within.
When you are in pain, do you run to God or from him? Do you run toward community or away from your friends and family? Do you wear your wounds with honor? Do you celebrate each victory in your life to prepare yourself for the bigger battle that is coming? When you need your strength replenished, do you pray to God that he would give you strength?