Have you ever grown tired in your struggle? Weary of trying? Wondered “why bother?” It might shock some to know, I have. I learned valuable lessons while watching the sunrise on a crabby morning. The most unlikely of creatures taught me about the peace that comes from perseverance.
Sometimes I’ve been tempted to give up praying that specific long-term request when I didn’t see the answers come forth.
Sometimes it feels like no matter how hard I try, I seem to be running in a two steps forward one step back kind of track, seeing too little progress for the amount of effort in an area of my life.
Some days I feel like I’m losing the battle in my efforts to take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ (see 2 Corinthians 10:5).
And then I realize…those questions and feelings are not mine. They come from my enemy who desires to thwart anything good that God wants to do in and through me.
Scripture encourages us, “And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good” (2 Thessalonians 3:13 NIV). I don’t think it’s too far of a stretch to suppose that if God, who inspired each word that was written in the Bible, put that in there, He must’ve known we’d be tempted to get tired in the fight.
Where I feel most at peace
One of my favorite places in all the world is at the beach. No particular beach, just a beach with clean pretty sand and expanses of water. It’s the place I most feel at peace, and most clearly sense the still, small voice of God whispering in my ear. It’s the place I most easily succumb to His unforced rhythms of grace.
On one of our family trips to the beach, I knew I needed rest. It had been far too long since I felt the sand in my toes or smelled the scent of the sea air. I had grown weary from stress.
Both the good and bad stress were showing their effects in my mind, body, and spirit. I was overdue for a peaceful recharge. The beach was the perfect prescription. I committed to using that time away to rest, refresh and renew.
Each morning the Lord and I had a “date” to have a sunrise quiet time down on the sand. And each morning was different, neither the sky nor my heart were ever exactly the same as the mornings before.
Lessons from a crab: toss the junk, keep the good
One morning as I sat cross-legged on my towel, waiting for the sun to crest above the horizon rain clouds in the distance, a quick flurry of movement caught my attention. When I looked, there was nothing to be found. I returned my gaze to the increasingly lightened sky, until again movement caught my eye.
This time I saw it: sand flying out of a quarter-size hole on the beach. In between glances and photos of the sunrise casting its glow on the water, I spent a good half hour studying the daily life and work of a crab.
And then I wondered…”Does he ever grow weary of having to toss the loose sand, ants, and debris out of his home? If he could have rational thoughts, would he wonder why bother?” Instead, he just perseveres, doing what he knows he must do to survive. Toss the junk, keep the good.
What reward does he get? He’s left doing the same thing day after day. But to not do what he is purposed to do, while he may still live, he wouldn’t thrive. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9 NIV).
Lessons from a crab: Peace comes from perseverance
That little creature taught me a lesson that morning on the importance of persevering: in my prayers, in my actions, in taking my thoughts captive. Peace comes from perseverance. For, eventually, we are promised to reap a harvest if we do not give up. And I suspect that harvest may just be what I sought after at the beach anyway: greater peace, joy, contentment.
Truly, Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Every day can be a good day when you trust the promises of God.
Today is Going to be a Good Day
My newest book, Today is Going to be a Good Day: 90 Promises from God to Start Your Day Off Right is now available!
This uplifting devotional helps you make each day a good day no matter what is going on in your life.
When life conspires to drag us down with all of its troubles, it can be hard to keep our spirits up. In times of severe illness and depression, I learned that when I stand on God’s promises, despite my circumstances, every day can be a good day.
Each reading includes Scripture, reflection, prayer, and a recommended playlist song designed to help you live out Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
For more information on the book visit: Today is Going to be a Good Day Book
It is so very tempting to give up when we are so tired we can’t think straight and when we are sleep deprived and in pain…..it IS HARD.
I love it that God never sets us up on our own, but connects us with others and when we need to lean for a bit, it’s good to know who is behind and in front, on either side, and who is above and beneath
[ think brick wall]….we all need to lean at times, and like Moses we need an Aaron and Hur to hold our flagging arms up.
BUT, when we have suffered a while, He will come and pick us up and establish us and what we have learned going through the fiery furnace will become gold nuggets which we can then share with others.
Hope Prevails !!
Such #Truth in your comment, Mary. I know it was the prayers of a faithful few that allowed me to continue persevering when I was growing tired in my struggle, and weary of trying. His timing is, was, and always will be perfect. What I know is that God never wastes our pain–sometimes it is to teach us something, sometimes it’s to comfort others from the comfort He has given us. For one like me, who is used to being the encouragER, He has used times like this to teach me, just as you said, it’s ok to rely on others for help and encouragement. We aren’t meant to be in the struggle alone. Just another lesson that Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
great illustration michelle! so easy to feel sorry for myself when i am doing the routine things that have to be done to keep myself an my family going. it is a blessing not a trial. i just have to gain the right perspective on it. losing perspective is one of the happiest things the Evil One loves to do isn’t it? he can cause so much damage and disarray that way.
Martha, the enemy seeks to steal, kill, and destroy. He starts in our minds and if he can steal, kill, or destroy our perspective by pointing us to things other than God, he can move in and wreak havoc!! But God is bigger. Because of Him, Hope Prevails!
You have a lovely blog! I love your Title and picture for this post. Thank you for the encouragement to not grow weary!
Your words are sweet encouragement to this writer’s soul. I’m thrilled you stopped by, and hope you’ll visit again. #HopePrevails!
What a great post! Your pictures are beautiful and brought a moment of peace in an otherwise crazy day! I found your blog through Purposeful Faith and it was a timely read for sure!
Jennifer, our God is so faithful, and His timing is perfect. I’m glad this post brought you a moment of peace. The beach always does that for me. I sit and watch the waves roll in, or watch a beautiful sunrise or sunset and wonder how anyone could deny the existence of my God! Peaceful blessings to you!
I love this post. I, too, love the beach and cannot wait to get there soon. It’s amazing what He teaches me while I am there. He knows I know to look for Him there! I love the lesson with the crab – very insightful and fruitful. It’s so easy to give up when we don’t see. If we would only realize more quickly that we don’t have to SEE in order to KNOW God is working.
Jennifer, you found the key: “we don’t have to SEE in order to KNOW God is working!” Beautiful. I hope you find your peaceful beach to hear more of what our Creator has to show you soon! Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
I’m positive you didn’t mean your post to be funny, but I found myself laughing. Today is my crabby day when I felt tired and wondering what the point is! I feel like that crab throwing out the junk (literally and figuratively) and wondering why when it’ll just all fill back in! Your post was God’s perfect timing!
Carol, I’m tickled when someone can both be provoked to ponder the things of God and be encouraged by laughter! I had to laugh at myself and the situation when I didn’t see the culprit to the movement in my peripheral vision, only a few moments later to catch this industrious little guy dumping the bad and making room for the good. Glad it encouraged you today! Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Just this evening, during a walk with my daughter and four month old granddaughter, I was talking to my daughter about this very verse! Saying that I’m always perplexed why I “grow weary of doing good”. When I am doing the good I am called to do, I am reaping so many blessings, but then I get in my own way and suddenly, I grow weary and then the same cycle of negativity creeps in which will show itself especially in my relationships. It just doesn’t make sense to me why when things are going very well because I am being obedient, I fall away and grow weary.
Your words, ” I don’t think it’s too far of a stretch to suppose that if God, who inspired each word that was written in the Bible put that in there, He must’ve known we’d be tempted to get tired in the fight.” were an encouragement to me because the Lord does indeed know our weaknesses and has provided an answer in Scripture for every one of those weaknesses.
Thank you for the reminder tonight! It was in God’s perfect timing! 🙂
Karen, nothing blesses me more than when I get to see how God has given me words to share that are in perfect timing for Him to bless someone else. Thank you for being a blessing to my writer’s heart this morning! Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
This post made me grin… And now I want to to find a beach, stat. Thanks for getting my brain (and heart) churning this morning, Michelle.
And your sweet encouraging comment brings a smile to my face, Sharita! Go find that beach, and tell them “Dr. Michelle” ordered it, then send me a post-card 😉 Beach-filled Blessings!
I am following you from Whole Hearted Home. I read Ed Hird’s book based on Titus, Restoring Health – mind, body and soul. For sure if we keep our focus on God and in His Word we can rest well in our souls.
I agree Janis. Keeping our focus on God and what He says in His word is key for everything else! Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
What a great lesson to learn from a crab! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for joining us today Elizabeth! God’s blessings on you! #HopePrevails!
Persevering is so difficult, but worth it in the end. I loved your photos!
Ally, persevering IS difficult, but when you’ve already started on the journey, it validates the early part of the journey. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
I know for me, sometimes stepping out of my ordinary life brings such perspective. And the beach is my favorite place to do that. 🙂 So glad you got that opportunity. Thanks for linking up at #ThreeWordWednesday.
Yes, Kristin, getting out of our ordinary allows us the chance to get back in touch with our basic senses, to see and hear things from a fresh perspective. He is always speaking…we just aren’t always listening on the same frequency. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
I have learned so many lessons at the beach !!! There is something about the water, sky, sand, breeze, whisper of the waves, and call of the gulls that brings a sense of peace and calm. Plus, I’ve found when I can calm down and listen, God speaks at the beach to my heart in a special way. Thanks for sharing your beach experience. Visiting from Imparting Grace.
From the sounds of it, Rebecca, we are kindred spirits. I cannot be at the beach and not just stand in awe of the Creator! It amazes me every time. And Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
visiting next door from #belovedbrews. How this post rings true in so many ways. The beach! My favorite. I need to get there soon, I just live a few miles away, but lately I’ve been too busy to find my beachy solitude! Not good! And your post about persevering, waiting on God’s plan..my prayer all yea as I’m in work transitions! Love this scripture much, thank you for reminding me: Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9 NIV).
There is something so special about the beach, that allows me to get still and just listen to His still, small voice, as he champions me to keep running the race and not tire of doing good, even when I cannot yet glimpse the upcoming harvest. I hope you get back to the beach soon and hear what special nuggets God has for you there! Because of Him, Hope Prevails!
What a great example! I live near the coast too and the crabs are mesmerizing. Never tire of doing good…your metaphor will stick with me. Thank you:)
Meg, I’m glad you could personally relate to the metaphor. I love how God speaks to me in nature. He’s always speaking…we only need to tune in and listen! Because of Him, #HopePrevails.
Thank you for sharing! I love how you have illustrated each point. You find a way to relate your message using whatever experiences you can and it makes for pleasurable reading!
Your kind words bless me Keturah! I just write from what He shows me and hope it encourages someone else. He’s always speaking…we just have to tune in to hear Him. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
This is an encouraging post for those of us suffering with chronic illness. Thanks for sharing at Together on Tuesdays. I’m sure it will be encouraging to all the readers 🙂
I’m so glad to hear that Lisa. I know there are many who are suffering trials that just seem to be unending. We must persevere, continue fighting the fight. Blessings!
The beach is my place too. I always feel so connected to God there. My husband and I hope to retire as close to the ocean as possible. I love your beautiful lesson gained from the life of that little crab. I’m sure we could all use a little of his perseverance :).
Candace, there are times that persevering comes very natural to me. And then there are those times I need the little reminders like watching the crab on the beach! I hope you get close to the beach and can see and hear Him there. Blessings!
really nice post. I love the beach.
Thanks Denise. Hope to see you back here sometime! #HopePrevails!
Absolutely Beautiful and spot on for so many of us. Thanks Michelle. Visiting you from Small Victories Sunday this week. feel free to visit back anytime. Blessings, Shandra
So glad you came to visit Shandra! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I hope we’ll see you visit again soon. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Love this, Dr. B. — Sharing with our online prayer group today.
Oh how you bless my heart, Lyli! Thank you. I hope it encourages someone right where they are. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Sweet Dr. Michelle, how refreshing and encouraging your words were! Like Shandra said, your post is spot on for many of us….including me 🙂 I know I say this every time, but I needed these words – they truly blessed my heart and brought inspiration. Thank you, dear one. And thanks for sharing with Roses of Inspiration. I hope we see you there this week 🙂 Hugs!
Stephanie, it’s always a delight to have you visit my site and leave your precious comments. I’m always encouraged to see how God uses my words and the lessons He has taught me to speak encouragement into someone else. That adds joy to my heart! Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Perseverance in all-even on the days that it is the farthest thing from our minds is such a blessing to God. He calls us to move forward and to look to Him in all and I know I have many days that I would rather just stay isolated and centered on myself. Your words always hit home with me and I appreciate how openly you share. Thank you for joining us at The Weekend Brew.
Your sweet words bless this writer’s heart, Mary. I don’t know how to be anything but me, so I’m blessed when my openness will meet someone else where they are. It’s such a joyful part of being part of the body of Christ. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
DrMichelle, I have just discovered your page ( God leads us where we need to go). I have been on medicine for depression for years. Lately I feel like I would like to lower my dosage. I have not cried in years and don’t very often get excited. I am talking to my doctor this afternoon about slowly lowering the amount I take.
I noticed your book and Bible Study about depression and want your opinion if these books would help while I am going through this transition? I hate the feeling of depression but also don’t like being numb to my feelings.
What are your thoughts?
Welcome to all things hope-filled! I’m so very glad God led you to my page!! I am not only a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist, but I have also walked through the valley of depression. I most certainly think both the book and the companion Bible study would help. I have found that too many healthcare providers ignore the spiritual component in our healing, but it is vital. Praying that you will experience a renewed joy in Him. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
I read your words in this space so much more often than I slow down to comment, but I just had to drop by and thank you for your ministry today, my friend! You are such an encouragement! This one especially blessed me! I’m still in the season of raising little ones, and I sometimes feel like the crab on the beach. It feels like I’m doing the same thing day after day without seeing huge results: feeding little mouths, riding little bikes, and practicing the same 50 sight-words for weeks on end! Thanks for the reminders that this work matters and that it brings the peace I crave! Sometimes, I get to thinking that I need to be doing something else to walk in peace, but obedience in the small, cyclical work always brings the Lord’s peace!
Oh my friend, as an empty nester now, let me encourage you that I wish I could go back and savor the mundane because on this side of things, I know there is NO greater calling than raising our children in the character of God. What you are doing is vitally important! Stay the course sweet friend. It makes a HUGE DIFFERENCE! Cheering you on!
Wow, I LOVE this! I know I’ve read it before but today it really impacts my life right now. Yes, I am weary and truly want life as we know it now to change for the better but I have been feeling the stressors of life and wondering if the fight is worth it. Now I know that my life has purpose every day no matter what I am doing and where I am going, that God has a perfect plan for me. Perseverance has been my yearly word from the Lord so many times and right now, it resonates in my heart. Thank you for the picture of the crab in my mind and heart. I will not forget and will continue to fight the good fight of faith. You are a blessing, dear Dr. Michelle! Persevering with you through prayer and much love.