“Please put all tray tables and seat backs in their full and upright position.” The flight attendants were preparing the cabin for landing. As a traveling minister and musician, I’ve done the flying routine countless times. Making our final descent into Jacksonville, Fla., was the beginning stop on a several-weeks-long ministry trip. Florida was a short flight from Atlanta, and I had just kissed my boys good-bye and enjoyed a nice drive to the airport with my wife. Jennette enjoys occasionally driving me to the airport, and I enjoy having her drive with me. It often provides a few minutes together in the midst of our busy life.
As my plane touched down in Jacksonville, I began to gather my belongings and reach for my cellphone, as was my normal procedure upon approaching the runway. The pilot
touched down, and I powered on my phone while the plane began to taxi toward the gate. What happened next was surreal and hit me like a ton of bricks. Immediately when my phone powered up, texts began to flash on my screen: “911—CALL HOME,” “URGENT—CALL ME,” “Josiah has been hurt—call ASAP.”
My head began to spin as I was bombarded with desperate texts and phone messages. The voice mail from Jennette still rings in my head today: “Josiah is being life-flighted to Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital. The doctors are saying the worst. Please call.” Her message was calm but interrupted with weeping. I felt as though someone had punched me in the gut. “What? Why? How could this be happening to my son? This has to be a horrible nightmare. What possibly could have happened?”
Have you ever noticed life has a way of throwing you curveballs when you least expect it? If you’ve lived long enough, I’m sure you’ve had a few experiences of your own where you weren’t sure how all the pieces were going to fit together and how the brokenness would all make sense.
Paul refers to running the “race of life” in 1 Corinthians 9:24. The Message Bible says the words “run to win.” How do you run to win when you feel the very wind has been knocked out of you? How do you find the endurance to finish when the pain seems overbearing?
Maybe you’ve watched a spouse walk out on you. Maybe you’ve lost your life savings in the faltering economy. Maybe you’ve received a tragic report from your doctor. Maybe you’re watching your children make decisions that are pushing them from the things of God. Whatever it is, if you’ve lived life, you’ve experienced pain.
You’ve experienced what I call “the pressing”— those moments when you proclaim in faith, “It’s not over,” though everything in the natural may look and feel exactly the opposite. This was most certainly one of those moments for my family and me.
Though oftentimes could be confused as “de-pressing,” I believe this season I refer to as “the pressing” can be a strength and step of victory if you extract the life principles my wife and I recently had to walk through with our 9-year-old son, Josiah.
You are called to be an overcomer and walk a victorious life, but sometimes the practicality of walking victoriously in the midst of pressure can feel overbearing.
My hope is that you will learn to harvest strength, build faith and confidence, and complete your journeys with joy, trust and a strong testimony to share with the world around you.
I believe the prophetic voice for this generation is the message of “It’s not over,” the message that even though things might look dismal, God is still on the throne and wants to be involved in your situation. The Bible says in Isaiah 59:19, “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him” (KJV). Whatever your season may look like right now, remember it’s just a season and God can turn it around.
Ricardo Sanchez is a Grammy-nominated recording artist. This article was excerpted from his first book, It’s Not Over: How to Keep Moving Forward When You Feel You’re Losing the Fight. To purchase this book, click here. Click below to watch Ricardo and his wife, Jenette, recount the story of when their son Josiah suffered severe injuries after diving into the shallow end of a pool.