Marshall and I spent all day Saturday putting a hedge in our backyard. He was scraping up the sod and I dug twenty holes for the clusia plants. 20 holes. Each hole had a fourteen inch diameter by 14” deep. And boy did my body feel it the next day!
The last three holes of the twenty were the hardest. I suppose one reason was I was getting worn out. But it wasn’t until the last three holes that I dug and hit resistance. When I first felt the resistance I thought I hit a rock. My shovel wouldn’t budge against whatever it was below the surface.
As I dug out the dirt around my area of resistance it became clear – this was no rock I could leverage out of the hole. This was going to take some additional tools, time and strength.
I stared down at the root. Had a conversation with myself about who was going to win the battle for the day, me or the root. And I decided, I wasn’t going to let this root, no matter how big, keep me from finishing the job set before me!
I chose to not let this root stop me from completing my task of digging twenty holes.
But I had to take a different approach with this one. I couldn’t keep hopping on the side of the shovel hoping to break the root. This one was going to require a hacksaw. It was time to get serious.
I called over my “handy helper”, Marshall, and he brought out the saw. We sawed, tugged and pulled. To discover the root didn’t just go horizontal – that would have been too easy – it went vertical, down deeper into the ground.
After several minutes of tugging, digging, sawing, I was able to pull the root loose and fell over backward in the process! Ouch. That hurt my pride a little! Ha!
The resistance that this one root required more exertion than the 17 prior dug holes combined.
I admit there was a moment when I thought, “forget it, i will just dig a little farther to the left – and leave a bit of a gap – no big deal.” But I knew the gap would bug me. And I knew that giving up on the root would bug me, because I knew between Marshall’s strength and my stubbornness we could get it out!
There have been several times in my faith walk that I have faced seasons of resistance like this root. There have been times when I faced resistance and wondered, maybe this isn’t what God had planned for me – because it was harder than I thought it would be.
And then I am reminded that God never told me this journey of faith would be easy. He didn’t say that to walk in faith would be a cake walk.
In fact, the calm parts of life are opportunities to rest up and to get filled up, armor on and anchor ready. The moments of no resistance are days to be equipping for the days where resistance will come.
That pesky root taught me quite a lot about the life of faith. It taught me that when I face resistance my first instinct is to press against the resistance with all my might and in my own strength.
I address the resistance at face value before digging down and gaining a full picture of the problem.
I try to solve the issue in the same way I handled the first seventeen, even though each problem has its own unique challenges.
Then, after the same method of hopping on the shovel didn’t break the root, I got frustrated and wanted to give up. I wanted to walk away from the problem the root presented and start digging a new hole, even if it wasn’t in the right spot.
Resistance. It causes a shift in thinking. It requires getting hands dirty in the dirt, digging into the problem. It exposes what is underneath – the root that is growing down into the ground,
And then, pushing through resistance requires calling for backup, and additional tools.
When I had to call Marshall over I was a little annoyed because I wanted to get the root out myself. My pride had flared up and I wanted to be the one to win against the root.
Yet, I had to lay my pride down and ask for help or I would still be tugging and pulling on that silly root.
The root, the resistance I faced as I dug the 18th hole, almost got the best of me.
The resistance we face in life can get the best of us. It causes our pride to flare when we don’t want to ask for help. It can provoke pity parties and grumbling. It can drum up anger and fits of rage.
Yet, we are given the opportunity to ask for help. We are given an opportunity to reach out to our God who has every answer, carries every tool in his tool belt that we could possibly need. He is and has more than we need.
Psalm 102:1 (AMP) says, “A Prayer of the afflicted; when he is overwhelmed and pours out his complaint to God. Hear my prayer, O LORD, And let my cry for help come to You!”
And Psalm 62:8 (AMP) encourages us to, “Trust [confidently] in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him. God is a refuge for us. Selah.”
So what are we waiting for? Why not ask for help?
When you face resistance in your life, what is your first reaction to the resistance?
Is it to go full speed ahead in your own strength? Is it to let your temper flare up and throw in the towel, walking away? Is it to call out to your “handy helper”, God and the Holy Spirit, to give you just what you need to work through the resistance ahead of you?
What if our first response to resistance was to call out to God for His help and His strength?
If I would have called out to Marshall sooner I would have saved myself a lot of sore muscles.
The same thing happens in my faith walk. As I encounter difficult seasons, I want to prove that I can work through it all on my own. Asking for help feels weak.
In reality, asking for help requires even greater strength as it demonstrates humility.
When we face resistance, the storms of life, we can push through, but we weren’t meant to push through on our own. We were meant to push through with the power of the Holy Spirit. We were meant to push through with our helper.
Psalm 57:2 (ESV) says, “I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.”
We can push through the resistance of life’s storms. We can call out to God for help, and he will come running to meet our needs. He will respond the moment we cry out to him for help.
Psalm 54:4 (ESV) says, “Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life.”
Walking through storms with God, pushing through resistance with God as our helper catapults us into our purpose. He uses each and every storm to help us get to the place He has appointed us.
What resistance are you facing today in your life? What roots have been dug up that need to be sawed out with the proper tools and backup?
If you are facing resistance in your life I encourage you to press through – but don’t try and go it alone. Cry out to God for help. He will deliver you. He will walk alongside you. He will be the strength you need and supply every tool necessary. If you need additional resource to grow in your faith journey with Christ, take a look at my website!