I used to think survival was a weak term. I liked overcomer so much better. It just sounded more . . . victorious. Stronger, I guess. As I walked through the journey of breast cancer I never thought of myself as being a breast cancer survivor; that just sounded so frail and weak to me. So I continued to say, “I’m an overcomer.”
That made me feel stronger (and I believe I was actually declaring my own outcome, which is good and scriptural), but I think I could have missed something very valuable. Yes, I was speaking by faith for my future—which is what the Word of God says to do—but I think there was still a present tense, in-the-moment experience that I needed to acknowledge and learn from.
When the theme for this Women of Faith season (From Survival to Revival) was shared, it really caught my attention. I found myself studying both terms: “survival” and “revival.” So, now when I look at this term ‘survival’ I see it much differently.
As I read about survivors, I thought about the courage and strength that it takes to keep an “I’m not gonna give up” attitude. I’ve watched films made from real-life stories of people who survived what seemed impossible odds. No matter what journey we are on in life, I can promise you at one time or another you are going to need a courageous heart and an “I’m not gonna give up” attitude of your own.
A survivor is one who has made it through a very difficult circumstance in life, and that’s great! Survival is the end of that particular traumatic experience. It’s at that point that we breathe a sigh of relief. But our strength can be totally depleted and we may even collapse under the weight of the circumstance.
I have seen boxers revived with smelling salts after being knocked out. The trainer grabs some smelling salts and puts it directly under the boxer’s nose. They wake up quickly! It’s like they snapped out of a deep slumber. They shake their heads and try to regain full consciousness, as they struggle to their feet.
In our everyday life we can fall into complacency. We can receive a verbal, physical, or emotional hit and feel knocked to our knees. That’s when we may need smelling salts. A spiritual revival has the same effect on our life as smelling salts has on our body. The Spirit of God awakens us and revives us.
My hope for all of us is that God will bring us those supernatural smelling salts and wake us up! Survival is the end of a difficult experience, but revival is the beginning of a greater experience!
“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” —Philippians 3:14
Judy is a prayer intercessor who travels with Women of Faith to events to pray over every aspect of the weekend, including requests received from women in the audience.