In football, there is (or at least used to be) a penalty for “piling on” which is when players keep falling on the player with the ball after he is already down. Unfortunately in this game of life, the enemy will seek to “pile on” whenever and wherever he can. In fact, this is one of his favorite tactics to frustrate, bring down, cripple and defeat a believer.
Most of us can tolerate a hit once in awhile. Many of us can handle repeated hits occasionally. Few of us can handle one hit after another for days on end and none of us can handle all of the above for a lifetime. Sometimes it seems that life just doesn’t want to let up, that the pressures and afflictions are like drenching rains that fall every day causing the rivers to rise and the roof to leak.
Few forces of nature are more awesome in power and scope than a major hurricane. Not only is there torrential rain and winds strong enough to rip off roofs and collapse walls, there is usually a storm surge which is every bit as dangerous as its first cousin-a tidal wave. Put together, a hurricane provides the perfect example of how things pile up and pile on in life.
As pressures mount, fears increase and the mind and nerves become frayed and tattered; the tendency is to “freak out”. Freaking out is equivalent to “snapping” which is the ultimate goal of the enemy. As long as we can bend in the wind we have a chance of surviving. It is only when we snap that the game is over and the enemy has succeeded in his goal of stealing, killing and destroying us.
The ability to endure a storm and not snap is called PATIENCE in the Bible. In many respects, patience simply means to “hang on or hang in there”. Unfortunately, there are many times in life when all we can do is hang on for dear life as the brunt of the storm moves in. During these times of extreme pressure, chaos and crisis, the only thing God asks of us is to hang on and never let go of His hand. If we hang on, we will endure the storm and be saved. If we freak out, snap or give up—we lose.
I wish I could say the promise of God is that we never have to endure storms in this life, but that is a lie. For as long as we live, there will be times of tranquility and times of storminess. There will be times of quietness and times of intense turmoil. Our job is to first seek to eliminate the storm but if we can’t, then it is to hang onto the hand of God and never let go. When we hang onto Him, not only will we endure the storm but we will enjoy the glorious light at the end of the storm–which is our hope.