Welcome to another chapter of Grateful Heart Monday where I begin every week with inspiration that always comes from a single piece of gratitude, which for today is for a Bible passage from 2nd Timothy 4:7 that has kept me going for over ten years now and helped me to never give up.
First off, I feel the need to at least reiterate, like I usually do any time I utilize a Bible passage in my writing, that the Bible is just one of many inspirational books I’ve gained spiritual guidance and direction from in my life. I only say this because people often discount the Bible who aren’t Christian or have any type of spiritual beliefs, JUST AS MUCH as people who are Christian often discount plenty of other religious books and spiritual beliefs as well.
Either way, I once was told at a very young age that the Bible stood for “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth” and somehow that’s stuck with me for over four decades now. Basic instructions, not complex, something I can truly relate to, and something that connected with me when I read 2nd Timothy 4:7 in one of my daily devotionals the other day.
So, what is 2nd Timothy 4:7?
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.”
Since April 27th, 2010, I have most definitely been fighting the good fight to keep going. That’s “the good fight” I feel this passage is talking about, the fight to keep running and not give up. As it was on April 27th, 2010, that my life of constant health issues, severe pain, depression, loneliness, and an almost daily feeling of hopelessness began. After almost two years of doctors, medications, and a continual downward spiral when none of those things helped to alleviate any of my pain and suffering, I truly wanted to die. With no answers and no relief, I went deep into various addictions and attempted suicide. But, something greater than me, something I never have been quite able to quantify, and something that has kept me going even when I haven’t wanted to, kept me alive and became my only solution and thus began this good fight to not give up, NO MATTER WHAT.
Last week, I surpassed the ten-year mark of endurance. I can’t even begin to describe some of the anguish I’ve gone through over the past ten years, but if there’s one thing I can say has kept me going through the past eight years of it, is exactly what 2nd Timothy 4:7 says…I have kept the faith.
Faith that God will see me through this. Faith that God has been there with me this entire time. Faith that has sustained me even through the worst of health and the worst of days. Faith in knowing a brighter day will come one day for me. And faith in my belief that God is far bigger than all of my health issues, all of my sorrow, and of all my frustrations with my life.
While I haven’t completed THIS race yet and while I’m sure there will be plenty of other races to run beyond this one, it’s this race that I’ve become the most grateful for. Grateful that I’ve developed a faith in something greater than anything my ego and self could ever do for me, something that has kept me alive and running even when I didn’t feel any energy left to keep going, and something that has somehow made me stronger, even when I’ve felt at my weakest. For this, I’m truly blessed and feel immense gratitude for such a simple passage in the Bible that moved my soul and provided inspiration for today’s Grateful Heart Monday entry.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson