Elijah was a prophet of God who called down fire from heaven and single handedly defeated 450 prophets of Baal. He was supernaturally enabled to run ahead of Ahab’s chariot for a distance of 20 miles. Talk about a marathon! (See 1 Kings 18 & 19) Yet afterwards, he was hit hard with discouragement. This awesome man of God became so greatly discouraged that he literally wanted to lie down and die.
As he was lying in the desert in the depths of despair, an angel of the Lord ministered to him, telling him to eat and to drink, for the journey was too much for him. He baked Elijah a cake to eat and brought him a jug of cool water. (This proves my own personal theory that cake always makes things better - epecially if it’s chocolate...)
When the journey seems too much for us, we can easily become tempted to just quit. I’ve been tempted on more than one occasion to just lie down and give up on my dream. Yet God unexpectedly showed me a spiritual principle one hot afternoon in Georgia.
My oldest son joined the Army right after 9/11. As our family proudly attended his graduation ceremony from infantry boot camp, I stood amazed by what I saw and heard at Ft. Benning. Companies of troops marched all around us, criss-crossing vast fields. These new, young recruits had gotten off of a bus in the middle of Georgia as regular young men armed with one thing: a dream to leave civilian life behind and become a soldier in the U.S. Army.
During boot camp, these burgeoning soldiers learned to obey instructions, work together and trust each other. A soldier is taught immediate obedience and unswerving loyalty; they learn to never question orders - which may one day save their lives. After persevering through extreme conditions, lack of sleep, arduous tasks and ridiculous orders, they became the soldiers of their dreams.
Now I watched these new soldiers march in perfect rhythm, shouting out “The Infantryman’s Creed". All throughout the day, different groups would come and go, but the words echoing across the fields remained the same. And it occurred to me that what they focused on is what they became.
As you read the following words, consider them from a Christian perspective. This is how tenacious we should be with our dreams:
The Infantryman’s Creed
I am the Infantry
I am my country’s strength in war,
her deterrent in peace.
I am the heart of the fight –wherever, whenever.
I carry America’s faith and honor against her enemies.
I am the Queen of battle.
I am what my country expects me to be –
The best trained soldier in the world.
In the race for victory,
I am swift, determined, and courageous,
Armed with a fierce will to win.
Never will I fail my country’s trust
Always I fight on –
Through the foe,
To the objective,
To triumph over all.
If necessary, I fight to my death.
By my steadfast courage,
I have won 200 years of freedom.
I yield not-
To superior odds,
For I am mentally tough, physically strong,
And morally straight.
I forsake not –
My comrades, my sacred duty
I am relentless.
I am always there,
Now and forever.
I am the infantry
Ecclesiaste 5;3 says "For a dream comes with much business and painful effort." We persevere by choosing not to yield to discouragement, our own inability and exhaustion. As we remain focused on our dream , the Lord, and His ability to bring it to pass, He will grant us grace to stand in determination and courage until we see its fulfillment.
Lord, enable us by the power of Your Holy Spirit to keep going when we long to quit; to stand when we'd rather lie down; and to hold on to our dreams when all seems lost. Grant us focus, determination, strength and unswerving hearts toward you. In Jesus' name, Amen.
P.S. I apologize for the length of this post - I wanted to finish this 3-Part series. Thanks for hanging in there with me!