Fighting the “Tap Out!”
Have you ever faced a situation that challenged and tried you for an extended amount of time? Have you ever reached that point when you are ready to “tap out” or wave a white flag in surrender? Maybe you are left saying something like…
“This is too hard!”
“I can’t do this anymore!”
“I give up!”
This is a moment I have experienced so many times. So many times I have been at my wits’ end emotionally, physically, and spiritually—feeling completely tapped out and bone dry. Feeling like I have nothing else to give. Feeling unsure of what my next move should be. Unsure of how to continue on. Often, when I reach this place of wanting to “tap out” I am completely frozen where I am. I’m stuck. Stagnant.
Ironically, reaching this point does not change the situation. The only thing that changes is my action in the moment. I am sitting in whatever is hard. The trial doesn’t go away. I have just quit fighting. I have lost. Given up.
Don’t get me wrong. There is a time and a place to surrender. In fact, Jesus calls us to surrender to Him—to lay everything at His feet. This is a healthy surrender. A needed surrender. A moment of knowing you cannot do this on your own. You need help. This is not the kind of surrender I am referring to.
The kind of surrender I am referring to is the stubborn, “I can’t do this! I don’t really want to mess with this anymore.” This is a type of surrender that I can usually recognize when I am to the point of pulling out and walking away.
That is not a good place to be.
Over the last few months, I have spent some time meditating on Galatians 5 and 6. In particular, the following verse really made me stop and think:
Galatians 6:9 says: “Let us not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up.”
Which leaves me to ask….
How do I fight the “tap out”?
How do I keeping going when everything in me is screaming to give up? What keeps me pressing in no matter how much I want to walk away?
Honestly, these are still questions I am working through. However, there is something so beautiful about coming to the end of yourself. It’s in my moments of weakness and insufficiency, that the Lord shines the most.
In my searching for the answers to these questions, the following conversation took place.
“Lord, I’m already so weary. I’m afraid I’ve already given up.”
The Holy Spirit brought this Scripture to mind:
“Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God—who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly—and it will be given to him.” —James 1:2-5 (emphasis added)
In the deepest parts of my being I heard the gentle whisper of my Creator:
“Daughter, if you find you are lacking…just ask.”
Through a sigh of relief and new-found freedom,
“I am so lacking. Abba, I need you. How do I keep fighting?”
“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. For he will not speak on his own, but he will speak whatever he hears. He will also declare to you what is to come.” —John 16:13 (emphasis added)
This may not seem like a direct answer to you, but He gave me just what I needed. This was the Lord’s reminder to me that I am not fighting alone. I stand firm on the Rock, Jesus, but also have an ever-present Help at all times.
Isn’t that what we need to hear when we are ready to give up?
I know when I’m ready to give up it’s mainly because I am feeling alone. Alone in the fight. Alone on the front lines of battle. Alone in the hard decisions.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. I am NEVER alone. The Holy Spirit is with me always, but that is not all. I am also surrounded by a community of people who are fighting on the front lines with me. We may have different battles to fight, but we stand united together.
I am learning that Satan does what he can to distract and shift our focus—anything to take away from reality, from the truth.
It so easy to give up when you are blind to what you have been given through Jesus Christ.
My anchor and truth is this:
Jesus was blameless and without sin, yet He took on the weight of all my sin. My sin. Your sin. Amazingly, He did not stay weighed down by our sin. He defeated death by rising again and taking His place at the right hand of God. He did all of this so that I (and you) could have life to the fullest and know a love like no other. Jesus made a way for me to enter the most beautiful life-giving relationship with my Creator. As if that is not enough, He left us a Helper, who is with us at all times.
This truth always reminds me of the why…
Why am I fighting?
This love—Christ’s love—compels me to share with others and go up in arms for the souls of others. That’s why I can’t give up!
I fight the “tap out” because I know who is with me; I understand the cost of my freedom; I know why I am fighting.
Whether the trial you are in is big, small, or in between, that trial or fight is molding you more into the image of Christ. If you tap into Him and fight the “tap out” or desire to give up, a harvest is promised. You will see fruit. It just takes time.
I needed that reminder. I needed to take the blinders off and stop focusing on my own ability and strength. And in turn, remember the truth on which I stand. The truth that never changes. Jesus is my Rock. I am never alone, and neither are you.