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Youth in Mission

Just a Coincidence?

Anneliese Wahlman


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Click. I opened my inbox and silently read an e-mail from a friend, inviting me to follow the blog of a young man I’d never met. I’d just gotten up from a nap that was supposed to kill my dejected attitude. Unfortunately, it was still alive and kicking when I awoke.

where I was working as a teacher. I didn’t feel like being cheerful, even though I knew I should be, and little things seemed to be getting on my nerves more than usual. I’d been homesick and was especially tired of hearing people speak in a foreign language. I found myself crying and not knowing why, and it seemed the whole week had been a battle to keep my emotions from dictating my behavior.

As I sat on my couch in a cloud of depression, staring at the email, I decided to click on the link. A blog appeared and I began to scan the posts.

One post in particular caught my eye. The blogger described how he’d been listening to an audio book during his daily run. As he ran, he felt exhausted, “about to die,” as he put it. However, at that moment the reader spoke these words, “Those who decline the struggle lose the strength and joy of the victory” (Help in Daily Living, pg. 28). Those well-timed words, he wrote, provided the encouragement he needed to keep running, despite the pain.

As I continued reading the blog, I saw something strange. The blogger’s final words were, “Thanks Allie,” and there was a link that led to my own blog.

About a year earlier, in a small recording studio in Canada, I had sat in front of a microphone and recorded an audio version of the paperback Help in Daily Living by Ellen White. That was the recording the author was listening to—and now those words I had spoken a year earlier had come back to empower me, just when I needed them!

Encouraged by the quote, I decided to pull out my own copy of the audio book. As I listened, I could feel myself being refreshed once again. Through the next week, whenever I was tempted to get discouraged, I would remember: Those who decline the struggle lose the strength and joy of the victory, and I was able to keep struggling to win that strength and joy—to keep on running, just as the blogger did.

Although I didn’t always win the victory, God faithfully gave me the strength to get up and run again. Through the failures and the triumphs, He used my experience in Asia to strengthen my character. Somewhere down the road, I may meet a trial more difficult than the homesickness and frustrations I faced there. However, because of what I have already passed through, I will have the strength to keep on running, though I feel I may die—to keep on struggling, to push through the pain and reach for the prize: the strength and joy of the victory.