A friend of mine shared one of her devotionals online and the notation said, “Don’t Give Up – Give It to God.” This is not only inspirational on the day you read it, but it’s something that, as Christians, we should never forget.
No matter what hand you’re dealt in your life, it’s never too great to just give up. Always give your troubles or despair over to God and He’ll give you the strength and stamina to get through it.
Don’t Give Up, Mom
When I first read the devotional, it brought back memories of my mother. At the young age of 63, mom was given the diagnosis of terminal cancer. I remember her strength and her faith in the Lord that whatever He had planned for her, He would give her what she needed to get through it.
I remember my brother saying she prayed every day and every night for peace and comfort. She prayed that if the Lord wasn’t going to heal her, that He take her Home quickly so she wouldn’t be in pain.
She’d already been in pain for seven years while one doctor after the other tried to figure out what was wrong with her. Why was she in pain? Why was she breaking out in hives? Why did her legs give out and she’d just fall for no apparent reason?
The Dark Diagnosis
One diagnosis after another; one treatment after another, for seven years. It took a keen specialist to connect the dots and do a bone marrow test.
When she heard the results of the test – no cure – she never asked for her prognosis. She said it wasn’t for the doctors or her to try to figure it out. When God was ready for her to come Home, she’d go Home. It was up to Him.
She continued her daily devotionals for as long as she could. She left her job for permanent disability. She gathered us kids together to draw up her will, and continued to live life. And she asked the Lord daily for the strength to keep going for as long as He wanted her to.
Her last weeks were rather dismal, but the doctors kept her as pain free as possible until He knew it was time.
God Doesn’t Give Up on Us
Looking back over my life and, as Crowder says, the “unspeakable things I’ve done,” I know it was Him who gave me the strength to get through my mother’s death and the many, many things that came after, even though I didn’t realize it at the time.
I was saved and baptized when I was 21. Shortly after I had a huge falling out with the church I attended at the time and it really soured me on going to church at all. Over the following decades, while I didn’t lose my faith; I still believed in God and I still knew I was saved, but I was far from following His word.
Bad and Sinful Life Decisions
Bad relationship after bad relationship; one child out of wedlock, one abortion, clubbing and drinking on the weekends, etc. While I never got into drugs or got into any serious legal troubles, I was still a bad girl. One sin is just as bad as another. There are no big sins or small sins and I was definitely on a dark path.
Some people criticized President Trump for having three marriages. I can’t say anything; I married my fourth husband in 2004 and I’m his third wife. My mother used to joke with me that I was like Liz Taylor; I was just going to keep at it until I got it right. I got it right in 2004. Unfortunately, she didn’t live to meet the amazing Christian man I married.
I have to confess, in retrospect, Jesus never, ever gave up on me! I got myself into situations where I could have been killed, and probably should have been, especially after having an abortion. But He had other plans for this rebellious soul.
I often said to myself, “Don’t Give Up.” But – I wasn’t exactly giving it to God when I should have been. Psalm 118 explains it perfectly: “His mercy endures forever.” Even though I was on the wrong path and not giving my troubles over to God, He was being merciful to me as one of His children.
God definitely “chastened me severely” (Ps. 118:18) over the years to bring me back into His fold. And when I finally came back, it was on the proverbial “bended knee,” tears and all.
Lay It All at His Feet
Today I live with a few medical ailments that can get the best of me sometimes. In fact, they can knock me down pretty hard some days. But I’ve learned over the last couple of years that I not only Don’t Give Up, I give it all to God now.
And when I’m having the most difficult days, I keep telling myself, Don’t Give Up. “His mercy endures forever.”