Do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you; I will help you;
I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10 (CSB)
Like millions of moviegoers, I love superhero stories. In particular, I’ve enjoyed watching (repeatedly) Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel. Certainly, it’s fun to cheer for these women as they take on villains and emerge victorious, especially when we’re used to seeing mostly men in such heroic roles. But what moves me most is the moment when each of these superheroes steps into her power and realizes her role in the supernatural war being fought.
In Wonder Woman, we see Diana climb out of the trenches, intent on helping those in need, and then walk through a storm of bullets to allow her team to advance safely behind her. As she plants her feet and holds up her shield for cover, the music swells and she doesn’t say a word. We don’t know what’s going through her mind as bullets rain down on her and she’s attacked by what feels like an endless amount of ammunition. We hear the music and watch her take hit after hit, and we see her standing strong the whole time.
In Captain Marvel, when Carol Danvers faces down her biggest opponent, it happens within her subconscious. For much of this internal battle, we see her sitting on the floor, restrained and unmoving. Those observing her from the outside have no idea of the war raging in her mind as the enemy tries to thwart her efforts to save entire worlds.
In both stories, these supernaturally strong women are fighting battles that we cannot fully comprehend. In both stories, they are only able to defeat their enemies after ignoring their team’s advice to stand down or their enemy’s taunting to give up. They are victorious only by unleashing the inner strength and power they had been given.
Now, you and I are not superheroes. Obviously I know that, no matter how many times I’ve watched those movies. However, I do think we have a lot in common with Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel.
How many times have you fought a battle that nobody else could see? How many times have you been under siege and on the verge of collapsing while standing strong on the outside? How many times have you looked at the challenge in front of you and been told, “You can’t do it”? How many times have you taken stock of your situation and told yourself that?
“I can’t do this.”
How often have I whispered, shouted, cried those words? I’ve lost count. I’m sure God knows, though, how many times I’ve realized that I cannot bear the burdens of the world or even just those that affect me personally. I trust that God knows every single time I’m fighting a war, even if nobody else notices.
So many of us are fighting battles that nobody else knows about. Addiction. Abuse. Chronic pain. Crippling debt. Anxiety. Struggles with our kids, our marriages, our friendships, our careers, our churches. We go to war alone, exhausted, and relying solely on our own strength.
No wonder we feel like giving up and shouting, “I can’t do this!”
The good news is that while we are never going to become superheroes, we are given supernatural strength by God. He never asks us to be strong enough to fight every battle — or any battle! Instead, He promises to be with us, to help us and protect us, and to give us the strength we need.
No matter what challenge you’re facing today, you aren’t facing it alone. And you don’t have to do it on your own. Ask God to give you strength, and do not be afraid, for He is your God.
Heavenly Father, I’m not a superhero, and I need Your help. This thing I’m facing is too much, and I can’t handle it on my own. I can’t do this. Please give me strength to face the struggle, to fight what I need to fight, and to rely on You through it all. In Jesus’s name, amen.
- What battle are you fighting that might be invisible to most people?
- How are you asking God to stand with you and give you strength?
That inner struggle with depression and anxiety have been hitting hard the past couple of weeks. Thank you for the reminder that God knows and is holding me close. I know He will get me past it, we have a history, He has done it before.
Donna Burttschell says
Dear Cathy, I also struggle with seasons of depression, fear and anxiety. But the Lord has always brought me through. We are not alone in these struggles, the Lord is with us and will never leave us nor forsake us. God bless you Cathy!!!
Wonderful message! Printing this one out to save and reread. This is also a message I will forward to friends struggling with this same issues. Thanks Mary – I needed to read this today!!
I have been married for 15 years. I realized only a year and a half that he is a narcissist. I could not for the life of me figure out why our marriage was so different and difficult. This post gives me hope!
Thank you so much and may God bless you.
It has been a rough year between health and family issues. I have faced circumstances in the past, but these have been on a different level. I have found the strength to move forward and into them in a way that I have not before. Thank you for your words of encouragement that lead us toward guidance and outcomes that only our faith in God can bring about. I needed this today.
I totally agree! God does see every battle I face (physically, mentally, & emotionally), especially the ones no one else sees!
Donna Burttschell says
My battle right now is with loneliness. I reach out and try to make new friends, but my efforts never quite yield that connection with another gal that I’m craving. That “drop everything and meet for coffee” sort of friendship. I know it’s very small, compared with others’ struggles, but it’s real for me.
Donna Burttschell says
Dear Irene, I also struggle with loneliness. But we have a friend who sticks closer than a brother….. Jesus!!! And He is with us though sometimes He seems far away……He is not! I am praying for you!
Karen Knowles says
I think we all need this encouragement, Mary. Thank you for this post.
Debbie Crownover says
Thanks so much. I’ve really felt like I don’t have any more adrenaline, out of super power the last couple of weeks with unusual challenges. Thanks for the reminder that God is our Super Power.
Wow, I saw this in my email today… after meeting with my adult son who is on the streets right now. This year has been extraordinarily hard… lost my youngest son to suicide and just finished the 2nd of two eye surgeries. The battles are hard right now… Thank you for your post… it meant a lot!
Beth Williams says
Started a new job this January. My co-worker quit suddenly & now the job, ICU clerical at large hospital, is all mine. Was fine when I only had 1 or so units to deal with. Now I have 3 with 28 patients. Hard managing my time & getting everything done. I know full well that God wouldn’t have given me the job if He didn’t think I could handle it. Asking God to give me patience with myself & help me get organized enough so I can get it done.