November 14, 2008 
Hurdles 
Angela L. Craig

We hope you are enjoying the Girlfriends in God daily devotions.  We (Mary, Sharon, and Gwen) would like to introduce you to some of our special friends.  From time-to-time, the Friday devotions will be written by one of our friends in ministry.  We call them our "Friday Friends."  So grab your Bible and a fresh cup of coffee and drink in the words from our "Friday Friend",
Angela Craig.

Today’s Truth 
James 1:2 (MSG) “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that, under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”

Friend to Friend 
Imagine that it is your birthday, and before you sits the most beautiful gift you have ever seen. You can hardly wait to find out what is inside such an amazing gift box, wrapped in gold and glitter. Everyone gathers to celebrate as you delicately undue the paper from the box. You lift the lid to find a note that reads:

Dear (your name here):

Happy Birthday! This year, you will receive tests and trials that will challenge you to your core and require incredible perseverance and resilience on your part.

The good news is that if you persevere, your faith and your character will be built up.

Love,

James

Would you rejoice in such a gift, or would you throw the box at the gift-giver?

I recently read an article about Lolo Jones, an Olympic Gold Medal hopeful.

Lolo grew up in a family that was homeless for many years. Lolo's father was in and out of jail and not in the picture most of the time, leaving Lolo’s mother to raise her and her four siblings alone.

Lolo’s story continued as the world watched her overcome her tough childhood through her love for running and hurdles. Due to her come-back attitude, Lolo was touted to be the girl who would live out the American Dream story, from rags to riches, from defeat to glory! Lolo persevered regardless of the odds against her!

However, in one moment, her dreams were crushed when she clipped a hurdle during the Olympic trials and went from 1st place to 7th place.

In less than a second, all that she had worked for, all that she had hoped for in her life was gone. In an interview shortly after her fall, Lolo made this statement:

"As I crossed the line it was very hard to pick myself back up," Jones said through tears. "It took about 30 seconds, but you know what?  Today's hard and tomorrow's going to be harder. What can you do but try again?"

How many of us have felt like we couldn't pick ourselves up, that today was hard, but tomorrow didn't look much better? 

The good new is that you and I know a God (or we are getting to know a God) that wants us to overcome every hurdle. He wants to heal every wound and help us walk triumphantly into our future!

So ladies, "what can you do but try again?"

Don’t let go of your dreams, God hasn’t!

Let’s Pray 
Dear Heavenly Father, teach me how to rejoice when I face trials and challenges in my life. Please help me to see the gain and not the loss of these events. I believe that Your plan for my life is the best one possible and I thank You giving me a resilient and thankful attitude regardless of life’s trials.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Now It’s Your Turn 

  1. What trials or tests are you facing today? 
  2. How are you responding to your circumstances? Do you feel defeated, tired or angry? Are you at the point that you are ready to try again? 
  3. If you are ready to try again, take these actions:  

            a) Change your mind-set to reflect God’s word. Trials are not obstacles but opportunities! 
            b) Don’t stop moving towards your goal. Wishing your circumstances will change will never move you out of adversity. Ask God to help you see the path He would like you to take. God will never fail you! 
            c) Anticipate and embrace the personal growth and self-discovery that will take place as you persevere! 
            d) Share the lessons you have learned with others that need hope. God can use your past to begin the healing process of another person’s pain!

More From The Girlfriends 
We all fail and make mistakes.  God understands that we are frail human beings who will never be perfect, this side of heaven.  He stands ready and waiting to pick you up, soothe your wounded heart and wrap His arms of love around His broken lamb.  He will give you time to gather the strength to begin again.  Don’t give up!  Don’t quit!  Don’t stop!  Mary has a CD that will encourage you toward a new beginning.  Visit her online store to download the MP3 or purchase the CD, “I Have a Hope”. 

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