I have literally been in a tug-of-war regarding a major situation in my life, a tug-of-war between throwing in the towel and staying the course. It’s been a tug-of-war between going off and bridling my tongue. It’s been a tug-of-war between holding on to see what the end will be and leaving without so much as a second thought. I really want to be led by God, and I know He sees and knows all, but I’m so weary. I’m not use to constantly being behind. I’m not use to feeling as though I’ll never catch up. It’s like running a race with no end in sight. It’s like sinking deeper and deeper into the abyss. It’s defeating… It’s frustrating… It’s isolating… It’s overwhelming… It’s humiliating… It’s extremely tiring… It’s emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually draining…

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers[a] in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together[b] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8: 26-28 NLT)

In moments of despair, I have had gospel music to aid me in addition to scripture, even before I knew the true impact of scripture. I’ve always had a wonderful relationship with gospel music and for as long as I can remember, it has always been my favorite type of music. Gospel music has reached me when nothing else has. It has ministered to me and nurtured me ever since I was a child. So as I’m writing this EmpowerMoment, it’s no wonder that an old song by the late Rev. James Cleveland comes on that says “I don’t believe He’s brought me this far to leave me.” At this moment, those words are the biggest motivator and encourager to keep me pressing. The song goes on to say, “I don’t feel no ways tired. I’ve come to far from where I started from.” Even though I am feeling oh so tired, I’m encouraged not to “give in”. I mean I was literally minutes from going into “shutdown mode” but the “tug” from this song stirred the spirit within me. Lord knows I’ve come so far from where I started and I am reminded to reflect on those things. Most prominently, He has kept me from losing my mind and my life when my baby and my mom died the same year. He has sustained me as I worked full-time, went to school full-time all while pregnant and cared for my family. The song goes on to say, “Nobody told me the road would be easy. I don’t believe He’s brought me this far to leave me.” Thank God I believe this!

Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40: 28-31 NLT)

I honestly think if it weren’t for the sweet Holy Spirit residing within me, I would have completely broken down by now and yielded to all the negative and troubling emotions that I’ve been feeling, but I can’t be victim to my circumstances! For I know that in God’s time things will work out according to His purpose and His will. Though my weeping seems as though it has gone on for many nights, I know that joy will come in the morning! God’s word tells me He will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint and I’m encouraged by that! The devil may tug but he won’t win the war!

To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me. (Colossians 1:29 NIV)

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26 NIV)

Dear Daddy,

 Build me up where I am torn down. Help me to understand that though I may not know what You’re doing I know that You’ll never put more on me than I can bear. Give me the strength, courage, faith and fight to win the tug-of-war and come out victorious in Your name. I release the situation to You Lord, no other help I know. I don’t believe You’ve brought me this far to leave me. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Tug-of-war sisters, I EMPOWER you to stay the course! I EMPOWER you to seek refuge in Him through any means necessary: scripture, music, service, prayer and support. I EMPOWER you to depend on the Holy Spirit within you to sustain you when you are at your lowest or feeling your lowest. I EMPOWER you to allow Jesus to pull you toward Him for victory in the war!

Are you experiencing a tug-of-war right now? What are you doing to stay the course?

Please take a moment to enjoy this song and allow it to bring you encouragement. If you have trouble viewing the video, please click on the link.



Mrs. Coretta Collins is a wife and mother who enjoys reading, writing, movies and spending time with family and friends. She is avid about health, healing and helping which serves her well as a Family Nurse Practitioner in a hematology and oncology practice. Striving to be led by the Lord throughout life and having overcome significant challenges, her favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Coretta is a member of St. John A.M.E. Church, Birmingham, Alabama. She resides in Calera, Alabama with her awesome husband and two wonderful sons.


2 thoughts on “Tug-of-War”

  1. Thank you Coretta for the awe inspiring devotional. I can relate so well to being in a “tug of war” I too lost my mother and baby the same year as a matter of fact I lost my mom and 2 babies all within a 6 month period. The pain was great but God is so much greater and thanks be to him and the faithful saints he sent my way I am happy to say I made it through the turbulent times of my “tug of war” I still have moments where I miss them all so very much but I hang on to God’s promise which guarantees me that I will see them all again.
    God Bless You,

  2. Great post! I’m glad kept you through everything you’ve gone through! I went through a tug-of-war last year between my flesh & spirit when I was struggling w/ lust & loneliness. When I began to put my focus on God, my struggle became less.

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