PRESS ON!

When I was in college (back when letters were handwritten and mailed in stamped envelopes), almost every letter I received from my father ended with the words “Press on.” His intent was to encourage me through the hard stuff by constantly reminding me of Philippians 3:13–14: “. . . But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

In today’s world, we’re all enduring lots of disruption and change—and it seems to keep coming! It is healthy to acknowledge this is wearing for many of us. Change fatigue is real and can make us wonder how much we can take; more concerningly, it can make us wonder if change is worth it.

When our four kids were born, Shelly and I learned the Lamaze birthing method. During birthing, moms are not in control of their contractions, but they learn to cope with the process by using rightly timed periods of breathing, with resting between contractions. There are times to breathe, times to rest, and times to “go with” the contractions. My part was easier! Even though it wasn’t painful for me physically, my role in helping Shelly focus on the rhythms of breathing through the tough spots and resting in the right spots was helpful—mostly!

The apostle Paul, along with my dad, would remind us all today that there are rhythms that come with “pressing on.”

The word “forgetting” can be misunderstood as a call to deny the pain, loss, or disorientation that comes with change, but that is not what Paul is saying. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul recounts the loss, suffering, imprisonment, and abuse he’s faced. Forgetting is not a matter of denial, but an exercise of “breathing through it” to keep moving through and toward the ultimate goal—”to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Let’s recognize the changes that are wearing on us. Then, let’s breathe and walk through this together. Find, or ask God to provide, someone to partner with you in a “Change Fatigue Lamaze” process.

I encourage you to stay focused on Alliance Women’s goal of “Connecting women to Jesus, the work of The Alliance, and each other for Kingdom impact.”

“Press on.” Do not deny your fatigue or conjure up energy of your own. Rather, remember to breathe and learn to rest.

As you “press on” at the right times, may you share in the joy of bringing about something new.

Tim Crouch

Tim Crouch

Tim oversees the worldwide missionary outreach of the U.S. C&MA. Prior to becoming the vice president for Alliance Missions, Tim and his wife, Shelly, served as Alliance international workers in Russia from 1995–2009. Tim’s heart is to see Alliance Missions propel Alliance people and churches toward meaningful contributions—in the spirit of the Great Commandment—to completing the Great Commission.

Six Responses to “PRESS ON!”

  1. Never had what I’m feeling -“change fatigue” – spelled out before. And the older I get, the more susceptible to it I am, it seems. Thank you for reminding us to breathe through it.

  2. Really enjoyed the comparison of “pressing on” with labor. Get through it by focusing on the process (rhythm) while trusting in the promises of God. Thanks!

  3. I have been so dry, so worn out from changes; almost to the point of full stop. But I know better.
    As I read Press On today, I closed my eyes at the end of the reading, and let out a deep sigh. The words, “Trusting God Through” came out in that exhale… I have been expecting much, but even in a little, resting in God is vital. Even if only in a long deep sigh, God is at work, all the time… and giving up is not an option. Press On (and keep Trusting God Through).

        • Powerful words and example ‘During birthing, moms are not in control of their contractions, but they learn to cope with the process by using rightly timed periods of breathing, with resting between contractions. There are times to breathe, times to rest, and times to “go with” the contractions’.

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