Yesterday, we talked about not cutting down trees in the winter seasons of our lives. While this is always a good strategy, practically speaking, it can be challenging to know how to keep going when everything around us seems to be falling apart. To offer some helpful advice, I want to share a strategy I learned many years ago while playing chess. In spite of the fact that it’s just a game, I figured out that winning in the long run required me to be steadily defensive as opposed to employing a lot of fancy moves. Though it was always tempting to make show-stopping maneuvers, doing so often caused me to lose because what appeared to be a winning strategy would get me in a mess that I couldn’t recover from. Instead, I learned that being watchful and focusing on my game enabled me to achieve many more victories in the long run. Interestingly, I believe the same is true as we travel the course of our lives. While we are born with a desire to have glory and to leave a mark on the world, if we pull out all the stops and make a careless move, it can be difficult to recover. On the contrary, the best way to thrive is to make steady forward progress and deal with problems as they arise. Even though it feels insignificant from day-to-day, there is great power in being consistent and in inviting God’s glory into the ordinary so He can do something extraordinary.
My friend, while it may seem like trouble is pressing in on all sides, your best way through is to seize opportunities in the ordinary. Rather than looking for a manner of escape, choose to embrace the Holy Spirit’s power working through you in the activities of your daily life. No matter how insignificant you feel or how rote your routine, the Lord does His greatest work in the little things. Just as the layers of the earth are built up over a course of years, the depth of your character is fashioned when you face every day with faithfulness and fortitude. While it’s imperceptible from one hour to the next, as you anchor your heart in Him, Jesus is building a rock-solid foundation that will make you stronger and enable you to be a source of stability for others.