When we were kids, we weren’t afraid to dream and we dared to believe anything was possible. Then life sought to prove otherwise and buffeted us (many while still children) with a stream of fast balls that left us dazed, confused, and traumatized. Few can boast, “I am the person I wanted to be when I grew up.”
Many of us lament our lives. Our state of affairs does not impress us; we are not where we want to be. When we take inventory, all we can see is what we don’t have.
But if we change our perspective, we can have a more accurate account of our lives and realize we have accomplished more than we thought. You may not be where you want to be, but you are not where you were.
In the book of Deuteronomy, Moses prepares the children of Israel for the conquest of the Promised Land. He summarizes the battles they fought in the wilderness, putting them into perspective. It’s important for them to understand they are equipped to conquer the land; they have been trained.
The nation of Israel has come a mighty long way since their exodus from Egypt. Without Moses’ empowering oration, it is possible that the people would:
- despairingly believe they were just wanderers in the wilderness pregnant with a dream of a homeland.
- believe they hadn’t accomplished or achieved anything at all since they had yet to acquire what they longed for.
- overlook all the obstacles they overcame.
All they would see is the trials and tribulations they suffered. They would see they lived a hard life.
Moses helps them see more. Everything you went through, he admonishes, was for this moment. You didn’t just face a bunch of trials, you overcame them. He lets them know that with God’s help, they overthrew kingdoms with fortified cities. God caused nations to fear them. And with the lack and want they endured, they learned to trust God. They learned He was faithful.
Canaan, their Promised Land, was a formidable land to conquer, but just like in the wilderness, they would not be conquering it alone. The Lord would be with them. They were well able to possess the land, equipped to face the giants therein.
Get Up. Get Ready!
If you are not where you want to be, you don’t have to remain where you are. You too have fought many battles and overcame many challenges. It behooves you to recognize what you were actually fighting and understand your victories.
If you survived an abusive relationship; if you’re rebuilding a life after prison, lost everything and are still standing; if you overcame an illness or have not succumbed to grief, you are a fighter, a warrior even. Your scars and bruises bear witness you are victorious. What destroyed so many did not destroy you.
You were not just living a hard life; you were being trained for such a time as this. Learning, growing, evolving. Be bold enough to dream again, and dare to believe once more that anything is possible. Don’t let the trauma of what you went through blind you or discourage you from pursuing a life that makes you happy. A life that makes you proud.
— D.L. Lunsford