My junior year of high school, I broke my arm. Caused by a cheerleading accident, the incident ruined all my plans, activities and basically everything I had going. It took surgery, plates and screws to put back together the two bones in my left forearm, and even then I had months of recovery ahead of me.
Basketball season was coming, which I had never been absent from, and homecoming was only two weeks away, but I was a tough-spirited 16-year-old girl who refused to be weak and play by my doctor's rules. During homecoming, I cheered in a sling. Even though the doctor told me it would be eight weeks, I fully recovered from the injury in five, and I was back on the basketball court where I belonged.
I'm a stubborn person. There's no hiding it, and sometimes I have to learn things the hard way. And while sometimes my headstrong nature can be an asset, it is also one of my greatest weaknesses.
Growing up, there were times when I felt like the Lord was silent in my life, like I was taking on new changes and battles and failures by myself. But, it wasn't because God wasn't paying attention to me, it was because I was trying to bear a load I was never meant to bear alone. I was being stubborn.
2 Corinthians 12:10 says, "For the sake of Christ then I am content with weakness, insults, hardship, persecutions, and calamities, for when I am weak then I am strong."
When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, a new eternal life isn't the only thing we gain. We also gain a Father who we can run to when we're heartbroken or feeling inadequate. We gain a bridegroom who loves us more than any earthly thing could. And we gain a partner who is there to help us learn lessons, who is there to help us with heavy burdens and cast them away, who is there to be strong when we are weak.
But sometimes our pride makes us forget all that we gain, and even though we feel like we can do it all on our own, we don't have to. We can rest in God's mercy and unfailing love for us. And not only can we do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13), but the more we rely on the Lord the stronger we will become through him.
When we look at the Bible, we can see an example of this in Samson, one of the judges in the Old Testament. Samson was a physically strong person, but he allowed his pride, physical desires and anger to overshadow God's gifts and plans for him. In fact, Samson was only able to display his strength when "the spirit of the Lord came upon him," (Judges 14:6). Because he was so strong, he began to believe he didn't need God, and ultimately this led to his downfall against the Philistines, courtesy of Delilah (Judges 16).
It can be good to be stubborn and to not take no for an answer. It's one of the things that makes us human. But life is easier and the struggles we face are simpler when we walk with Christ, and use the gifts and characteristics he has given us for His glory.
Olivia Williams, a journalism student from Baylor, is currently serving as a joint Communications Intern for both the Baptist Standard and the Texas Baptists.
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