My mental tug-of-war goes something like this:

I make progress, inching my way to the winner’s line. Then without warning, I am swept onto my posterior- ouch!

I am dusty and weary, but the worst part? My pride is hurt. I was SO close to victory, to bearing the necklace of the winner. Now, I’ve not only lost, but I am groveling. Defeated, fine dirt in my mouth and eyes. Angry. Disgusted. Done.

I can’t say how badly I want to walk away and throw my hands up in the air- be done with the struggle altogether. Do I grab the rope firmly with both hands and try again? I give myself a mental badgering for being so weak-willed, so wishy-washy, so on again, off again.

I know what’s right but in all honesty, some days I don’t give a flying leap if I do it.

I’m mad at my husband’s insensitivity to my needs.

I’m hurt by a mom who has shunned my kids because they are “bad influences”.

I’m tired of continuous financial struggles.

I’m frustrated by the insincerity I see in people all around me.

I’m loving self more than God.

I’m thinking “I’m all that” or (like Jekyll and Hyde) I am thinking I’m so evil, I can’t stand myself and am sick of trying.

So there I go, again, ignoring the tug I feel in my soul to pick up the rope and put my back into it. No biggie. I’ll right this wrong some other day.

I know what’s right. Today, I dig in mentally and spiritually. I am firm in both my stance and my grip, armed with my spiritual armor. Ready for the fight; my opposition becomes clear to me. I am prepared for him. (Some days he comes in such a guise that I think he is actually helping my side.) Valiantly, I tug, and then I wear. The sinew in my arms burns hot. My grip on the rope loosens and defeat is imminent. NO! I scream inside.

Thinking on my feet, I picture my Savior hanging on the cross- dead for me. Where the wooden beam is stuck into the hard ground, has bubbled up a spring. Clear, beautiful, refreshing, the water of grace is gushing out- unhindered. All I do is draw a draught for my weary soul to drink in. Immediately, my struggle quiets. The rope seems to glide my way effortlessly. I rest.

Why do I forget that my victor’s crown is already won eternally? Why don’t I recall that my Jesus fights with me in His humanness, knowing full well my struggles, yet having resisted them all in His perfect deity?

Next time, I promise myself, I will RUN to the fountain of grace sooner and find the living water to assuage my thirst for something better in my struggle.