On a day like today, where I am down after speaking with my family from a distance yet another day–I hear their disappointment and sadness and am feeling my own sadness, failure, and loneliness and am tempted to give up–God drops a film into my lap about Magic Johnson. His quote is in a different context, but it holds true and encouraged me.
You have to accept that you are going to live with this virus forever, and you have to have a positive attitude about it. If you feel defeated, then you are going to lose this fight.
Magic Johnson, in the ESPN film The Announcement.
Replace the word ‘virus’ with ‘addiction’ or ‘the flesh.’ (And yes, addiction does feel like a virus at times.) On my blah days, I must cling to God and claim this verse:
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Romans 8:37 ESV)
And the reason I can stand firm and not shrink in shame or defeat:
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.
(Romans 8:31-33 ESV)
And I must do what Jesus, Paul (and Magic) did and not merely look inward but reach to to help others. Even in the smallest of things. ‘Love is the overflow of joy in God that meets the needs of others.’ John Piper.
There is hope. Keep fighting. Only surrender to God, not to the flesh or the enemy. Take it minute by minute, day by day, and realize the availability and nearness and power of God. Be about what you need to be about in this moment. A message to myself. Amen.