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  • Writer's pictureDavid and Marilynn Chadwick

Strong in the Lord: Lighten Our Load

by Marilynn Chadwick


We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure... (Hebrews 6:19 NIV).


God’s strength helps keep our hope alive. Hope, in turn, makes us stronger—like an anchor for our soul. Perhaps you’re fighting today to hold on to your dream. The mountain of obstacles looks too big to overcome. It takes spiritual muscle to keep dreaming when circumstances look bleak. Strength is crucial to resist the aggressive intruders of discouragement and fear. I pray that you’ll find encouragement today as we continue our theme “Strong in the Lord.” 


Years ago, when I was walking through infertility, I experienced God’s strength in several practical ways—lessons that are with me even today. But one thing’s for sure. Waiting is hard work! One day, my husband David spoke words that helped me turn a corner. He looked at me and said quietly, “You know, we’ll never be happy with a baby unless we’re happy without one.” We were on vacation at the time. So, I went for a walk to do business with God. Two hours—and a very long walk on the beach later—I returned. I had surrendered my dream to God; “buried” my dream to have a baby in the sand. But I still held onto hope that God had a plan for us that was good.


I felt strangely empty and free at the same time. There was a new fire for change. I wanted to begin again. And this time, hold my dream for a baby with a looser grip. I took stock of where I was. What I had. What I lacked. Where I could grow.


In short, I began to “clean house.” This was part practical and part spiritual. I worked at redoing the fixer-upper house we had purchased a few years earlier. Paint, wallpaper, and yard work were doable. These, I could control.


I also took stock of my physical body; my temple. My health had suffered from all the infertility drugs and treatments. Plus, I was somewhat of a “junk food addict.” So, I zeroed in on my habits and began to eat organic and healthy, not easy or even embraced by most people forty years ago. I also found ways to discipline myself through exercise.


I discovered that structure and order kept me mentally healthy. There was some comfort in controlling what I could control. I could not control when I would get pregnant. But I could make a conscious choice to declutter both my soul and my surroundings.


Friends, we grow stronger when we lighten our load. The Bible encourages us to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1). Is there anything in your life that's slowing you down?


Let’s pray this together: Lord, please reveal any sins, habits, or circumstances I need to “throw off” so that I can grow stronger. Empower me anew to pursue the dream you have placed on my heart.

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