Know your Advocates

I think that in any journey there is adversity. Moving forward is sweeter if there is an obstacle to overcome. Hard times force you to fight your way through. This is as true of my fitness journey as it was my cancer one. When I am successful, whether I am down some pounds or I make my exercise goals for the week, it makes all the work seem worth the effort. I can hold my head a bit higher and relish the moment. The thing is, that in order to reach that success I cannot go it alone. Yet I must do it on my own. Odd don’t you think? I love God’s constant dichotomies. I have to have supporters, while I walk the road unaided. No one else can exercise for me. They cannot do the work and I be the benefactor. In cancerland it was the same. I often say it was like being thrown into the boxing ring with the heavyweight champion. You have those in your corner cheering you on, but you are the one who fights the fight.
On my current path, I find that I have supporters…those who notice my changes and applaud them. Today, there were at least four. This caused me to take note. I heard God whisper, “Know your advocates.” I realized that these people, are bringing God’s gift of encouragement to me as I fight. They are the ones who recognize the temptation of a basket of “testing” chocolates, so they put sugar free treats in my box. They are the ones who comment on my shrinking hips. They are the ones who put notes up for me to see that show my progress. They are the ones who call to say “Keep it up, you are doing it!” Over and over again, I find that I am not alone in my solitary journey.
Now for the spiritual lesson in my observation. No one can walk your walk with the Lord. You are the one who decides to follow him or not. You are the one who must walk out his plan for you wherever it leads. Adversity is sure to come along the way, and you will face mountains that you alone must climb. However, you CAN have advocates. Those who encourage you. Those who take note and cheer you on. It can be prayer partners, or members of a Sunday School class. It can be friends from long ago that share a kindred spirit or it can be new co-workers who need encouraging friendships. Faith is highly personal, individual even, but it is also exceedingly corporate. We need each other. We stir each other up. Believers share his life. He voices his words of encouragement off their tongues, and reaches out to support through their hands. Their actions, many times, are his actions. Know your advocates…they are gifts from God.

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