We all encounter them. From the most cowardly, to whom a challenge might be a hangnail or split-ends, to the most robust who have battled dreaded diseases, the worst persecution, or returning from war to find not only are you profoundly different but as a result so are who, what and where you left. Some face whatever their challenge head-on. Fearless. Some stop and, if able, consider options. Some run the other way only to find what they hoped was evasion turns into another challenge or, worse, a reversal of life. No, it is always best when presented with one to face it. Then, as you are, as it is. It likely will not diminish and by facing it your perspective keeps it real. It is manageable or insurmountable but there it is. Some pray. Some feel the prayer is all they need with no action other than the praying. That is seldom true. By praying we are asking a God Who loves us, Who knows us better than anyone else or even than we ever will to help us. And by taking our part in the facing of whatever it is He diminishes our pain, makes our efforts seem effortless. And then it is over. We have come to the other side of it, however and whatever it was. And we give thanks. We look around and feel somehow stronger, better, clearer. We have achieved conquest. We move on. Forward. Upward. Lifeward. “…having done all, to stand.” (Eph. 6:13)