"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." - Ephesians 6:12-13
After everything... stand. After the battle with cancer. After the ugly divorce. After the accident. After the death. After the pink slip/retrenchment package. After betrayal and injustice. After the hurt, the sleepless nights, the moments when you cried out in desperation and anger at a God Whom you doubted.
Forgive the cliché, but life is quite the battle. And when we stand our ground and fight, we can still get beaten up and bloodied, crawling back to our homes, our safe places, our havens. But sometimes there is no safe place. Sometimes we can barely move. Sometimes we lose all hope.
But after everything... stand. Encouragement comes. Hope dawns. Unexpected love touches us when we have given up. God bends down, lifts our chins, tends our wounds, helps us to our feet. And we stand.
We stand in the strength that is not ours, but in the God who sustained all those who fought before us. We stand in the hope that God will lead us to victory. We stand in faith that the battle is not in vain, but that lives are at stake and worth fighting for. We stand because for reasons unbeknownst to us, God actually loves us and thinks we're beautiful.
And that changes everything.