How to Hang On When You Really Want to Let Go
What an honor it is to welcome a dear friend, Melanie Redd, to share with you all today. For those of you who already know of this sweet woman, I don't need to tell you that the following words come from her heart. She's a lady who stands out as one of the most encouraging people I know. She's the real deal, people. She practices what she preaches. Please, be encouraged by her words- and then, go on and say hello, visit her blog, Ministry of Hope. You'll be glad you did!
Do you remember taking the President's Fitness Test in elementary school?
You know that yearly evaluation that included things like:
• Sit ups,
• The standing broad jump,
• The 50-yard dash,
• The softball throw, and
• The 600-yard run.
They've added a few things since most of us have taken the test, but the idea is still the same. The test is given to see how healthy you are as a child and to encourage you to strive toward good health and a future of physical activity.
I'm not sure why, but I distinctly remember the pull-up bar and the "flexed arm hang" assessment. During my elementary years, girls weren't tested by the number of pull-ups they could complete.
Instead, we were evaluated by how long we could HANG ON the bar without letting our chins drop down or touch the bar. We'd jump up into position or get boosted up by a friend, and then we'd hang there for as long as we possibly could hang. Our friends would gather around while the PE teacher held the stopwatch. And, we'd watch, wait, and cheer for our friends to HANG ON.
Most of us would last about 20-25 seconds before we'd start to droop or inadvertently touch our chin to the bar. Occasionally, one of the girls would be able to last a little longer. She'd grit her teeth, hold her breath, and hang on for dear life. With her face turning bright red, her hands getting sweaty, and her arms beginning to shake, she might make it to 45 or 50 seconds.
As I look back on those days, I vividly remember two things:
1: When my friends were hanging on for dear life, I cheered them on. I rooted for them. I wanted them to last as long as possible above that bar.
2: When it was my turn to hang on, my friends also rooted for me as I strained to not let go. You know, I think we can learn a few great life lessons from the President's Fitness Test.
Most of us will not be forced to hang from a metal bar on a playground ever again. (Thank goodness.) But, all of us have difficult tests, challenges, and issues with which we have to deal as adults.
HANGING ON is part of life!
We have to hang on during painful seasons in marriage.
We have to hang on when the bank account gets very low.
We have to hang on when battling with cancer or some other debilitating illness.
We have to hang on when we are deeply disappointed over long unanswered prayer.
We have to hang on when our children walk away from everything precious to us.
We have to hang on when life just hurts.
Life is filled with opportunities to hang on and not let go!
So, how do YOU and I hang on when we really want to let go?
Let me suggest 3 ways you might strengthen your grip and hang on a little longer:
First, you take time TODAY to pour out your heart to God. When your chin starts drooping and your grip gets sweaty on the issues of life, where do you go? Where do you turn? Do you know that our great God loves it when we bring our distress and our pain to Him? Psalm 62:8 instructs us to,
"Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us."
When we are starting to faint from the weight of this life, we can go before the Almighty God and gush and spill out and pour out our issues to Him. He is ready to hear from us. He is not offended by our hurt, questions, anguish and honesty. He is our Refuge!
Hebrews 4:17 reminds us also of this truth,
"So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most."
As we find ourselves in the greatest need of grace, we can rush to the throne of our gracious God.
There we will find incredible mercy and help to HANG ON a little bit longer.
Second, you invite, involve, implore, and persuade some people around you to be your cheerleaders and your prayer warriors. When you are struggling, don't hide out or isolate yourself from everyone.
HANGING ON is hard!
We need our brothers and our sisters to cheer for us and encouraged us during the heat of the battle.
Ecclesiastes reminds us of this,
"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up."
Prayer support, encouragement, and friendships strengthen us to HANG ON a little longer.
If you feel like you are going to let go today, call out for help.
Gather some support. Email or text some people to pray for you. Don't try to muddle through alone. Call for reinforcements.
Third, you cheer for those around you.
When you have the opportunity, cheer on a brother or sister.
Don't let others HANG ON all alone either.
As God brings someone to mind, call to check on them. Pray for them. Go by and see them.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Paul reminds us to,
"So encourage each other and build each other up."
You will not only encourage a friend, but you will personally be strengthened.
I've never reached out to encourage someone else when I've not myself also been encouraged.
That's it! That's how you keep on HANGING ON!
Maybe today you are struggling to hang on?
Maybe your grip is growing weak?
Would you share your request with us? We'd love to pray for you.
Or, maybe you are doing well. Would you share one of the ways God helps you to strengthen your grip? We'd love to hear from you!
Melanie Redd’s Bio: Blogger, author, speaker, encourager and teacher, Melanie’s passion is to offer HOPE! Married to Randy for 25 years; the couple enjoys travel, eating out, and hanging out with their two college-aged kids. You can read more from Melanie on her blog. Connect with her here: FACEBOOK PINTEREST INSTAGRAM TWITTER
@@Prayer support, encouragement, and friendships strengthen us to hang on longer.@Melanie Redd@@
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