Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9 ESV)



I’ve heard numerous Christians who have a mistaken understanding that just because they are Christian they should escape many of the trials that non-Christians will have.  They see their faith as a type of insurance against the common trials that non-believers have.  Little wonder why they have great disappointment in God when they think that He did not act on their behalf when a crisis came?  Perhaps the real problem is they are naïve about the conditions of the world we live in, and as well God’s rescue plan for our soul and spirit from this world?  He’s never promised a deliverance of our bodies and our life from the common trials in this world.  But He has promised that His grace is always sufficient to walk us through any problem at any time.  Our problems may seem like that of Apostle Paul’s, and be seen as a nagging “thorn” that never leaves us?  Sometimes our problem may be devastating … life changing … something we think we will never recover from?  Our trials may take on many forms.  Even so, we have God’s grace walking with us, if we will rely on it and rest in it, and it is sufficient.


God’s grace to us takes on many forms when He provides it to help us walk through our “thorns” or trials.  Sometimes He carries us through them like a new born child must be carried in his or her extreme vulnerability.  We all want this, but it is rare that it is so easy.  Sometimes God gives us special wisdom to help us solve an answer for our troubles.  But that would be too easy as well, for if we could solve all our problems by simply figuring them out, we risk miss seeing that God’s mysterious involvement was the answer and not our self.  Sometimes He allows us to take the battering of the storms against our boats called “life,” and learn to be a good “sailor.”  He actually uses the common trials and troubles of the world that come at us as a testing and proving ground for our faith, and a place that godly character and perseverance is formed.  But God does not exempt us from our trials, even though we are His children.  He instead gives us the resources to live above them.


I entitled this blog Drink Ahead of Your Thirst as a metaphor of sorts to make another point about preparation for your trials.  The metaphor connects with a common problem that people have concerning fluid intake.  The problem is fluid is often only taken in when there is thirst.  By that time mild dehydration can set in showing symptoms such as, headache, fatigue, lightheadedness and difficulty concentrating.  These things interfere with quality of life, and for sure with problem solving when challenges come our way, which they will do.  The answer is simply is that we should drink the necessary fluids before we are thirsty.  In a similar way we should drink ahead of our thirst with our spiritual intake.


Too often we only get serious about the health of our soul when we are in a crisis.  When a crisis comes we get serious about prayer, about connecting with other believers, about reading our Bible, and about asking the Lord to enter our life and solve our problems.  But in this newfound, interest because of crisis, we have a lot of catching up to do, and we will have to go through a lot of agony and pain to gain the needed insight to weather our storm.  I’ve got a better plan.  Why not prepare for your trials ahead of time by building your spiritual foundation ahead of the crisis when it comes?


I often ask men this question: “How is your soul?”  I believe this question might be the most important one you should answer at any given point in time.  If your soul is not healthy, you are not prepared for the crisis that will come, and they will come.  If it is healthy, then you will weather the tests you receive.  Recently my soul was given a test … a real hard test.  Had it not been healthy I would not have weathered the storm that came suddenly on my family and me as if a Category Five hurricane hit us with a full-frontal assault.  Note that my soul was healthy and prepared and as a result God’s grace was my comfort, for I was familiar with Him and His presence.  But I was not exempted from the trial.  It came with fury.  But God, and the prayers of our Influencers family, held us up.


Back to my metaphor.  If I had waited to consider the condition of my soul only when I came to a crisis, I would have been in water over my head before I could react.  But drinking ahead of my thirst, which means to drink of the Living Water every day, to grow in closer proximity with Christ as my main pursuit each day, these things prepared me ahead of the crisis that I would face.  Let me encourage you to consider my example as a very important reason to get serious about your own soul health.  It is the food of God for a disciple of Christ, and it prepares us to be overcomers.



“If we are going to live as disciples of Jesus, we have to remember that all noble things are difficult.  The Christian life is gloriously difficult, but the difficulty of it does not make us faint and cave in, it rouses us to overcome.”  Oswald Chambers