10 Minutes Peace
by Susan McGrath
Sometimes when it comes to spiritual growth I feel like the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz. I honestly desire to deepen my relationship with the Lord but I am afraid of what that next challenge will be.
I may hide behind the excuse of not having time for a strong daily prayer life. I may cover my eyes with the good deeds I have performed, peering out timidly to see whether I have done them as God's will or for my own accolades. I may even back off from my involvement with people and programs as I curl up into a ball, not wanting to alienate anyone in order to assert the truth.
I am a spiritual coward and I have no reason to be. In Romans Chapter I Paul writes, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: 'For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.' No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us."
Yet overcoming my shortcomings means trading one "cross" or temptation for another. At least my current sin is familiar. I usually know when it will creep up on me, hoping to find me in a vulnerable state. What will happen if I rise above today's temptations? What if I conquer this affliction only to be given a tougher challenge? What if my new cross to bear involves someone else's suffering as well?
I must remember that, like the Cowardly Lion, I have the power within me to overcome. This power has nothing to do with me, but Christ in me. The Holy Spirit dwelling within my sinful outer skin. God working through my unclean flesh.
Unlike the Cowardly Lion my hopes do not lie in a man aspiring to be a wizard, but in the Creator of the universe. My faith does not require that I muster enough courage to battle the world, only belief that Christ, who is in me, has already overcome the world.
"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be people of courage; be strong." - I Corinthians 16:13
"Refreshment in Refuge" from
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a recovering journalist trying to encourage others and glorify God through writing;
living the small-town life with husband Tim and sons Lincoln, 12, and Sawyer, 6;
completing a few put-off writing projects while using chocolate for therapy.
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