Perseverance

How Close You Are

If you feel like quitting, don’t. You don’t know how close you are to your breakthrough.

 

Photo Credit: Zion Canyon Late Afternoon by Vanessa Kay – Photo 54421654 / 500px

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If We Could Just See

 

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There are times in life when circumstances descend like a cloud, obscuring our vision. We’re exhausted from striving, surrounded by sharks seeking to pull us down. The cold penetrates our hearts, paralyzes our hope. If we could just see how close we are to reaching our goal, we wouldn’t be so tempted to give up.

 

Photo Credit: Free photo: Arashinami, Get Rough, Lighthouse – Free Image on …

When the Fog Gets Thick

Blog_FogJust a half mile away from breaking a world record, Florence Chadwick gave up. She’d swum for nearly 16 hours in frigid water, surrounded by sharks and desperately exhausted, the fog so thick she couldn’t see the support boats that trailed behind her. The following day, she told reporters “I’m not excusing myself, but if I could have seen land I know I could have made it.”

Had the fog not obscured her vision, she would at that time have become the first woman to swim the 21-mile Catalina Channel. It wasn’t the cold or the sharks, or the fatigue that caused her to quit. It was the inability to see her goal, so close before her.

I’ve been in fog so thick that driving conditions were dangerous. It was almost impossible to tell if I was even driving in the right lane, or on the road at all. I wanted to pull over, but couldn’t see if the road had a shoulder or a steep drop. All I could do was keep moving forward and hope the fog would lift before I crashed into something.

There are times in life when circumstances descend like a cloud, obscuring our vision. We’re exhausted from striving, surrounded by sharks seeking to pull us down. The cold penetrates our hearts, paralyzes our hope. If we could just see how close we are to reaching our goal, we wouldn’t be so tempted to give up.

Maybe you already have given up.

The good news is, two months after her first attempt, Chadwick swam those same frigid, shark-infested waters. The fog was just as thick, the journey equally exhausting. But this time, she did not give up.

If you feel like quitting, don’t. You don’t know how close you are to your breakthrough. And if you have given up, remember Florence Chadwick. It may be just as difficult the second time around, but it will be worth it.

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” (Galatians 6:9)

The Missing Ingredient

Blog_RecipeI was looking forward to preparing a delicious meal for my family until I opened the spice drawer and realized one of the main ingredients was missing. Without it, I couldn’t make what I’d planned.

It’s amazing that just one small ingredient can make or break an entire meal. When it comes to the recipe of faith, there is one ingredient that often gets overlooked: patience. During seasons when our faith is put to the test, this is the one thing that will carry us through.

The Bible is filled with stories about men and women known for their great faith: great—due not to their own merit, but due to the greatness of the God in whom they placed their faith. Such people had an intimate knowledge of God that enabled them to walk with confidence in His promises. They were so sure of His faithfulness that they were willing to wait a lifetime and beyond to see the fulfillment of His Words. Their faith was accompanied by patience.

We will develop the same patience to persevere in faith when we look to “the author and finisher of our faith.” When we look to Him, we are reminded that it is not so much our faith that keeps us, as it is His faithfulness. An understanding of His faithfulness will fuel our willingness to wait for the fulfillment of His promises.

Abraham was promised that he would father many nations, yet he did not see the birth of his son until he was old in years. Joseph was given dreams of how God would do great things through him—but before his dreams became a reality, he endured rejection, enslavement, false accusations, and imprisonment. Moses asked to see God’s glory, yet his prayer was not answered until years after his death when he visited Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. David was anointed as King, but he had to live under the ungodly rule of Saul before he could wear the crown. The disciples heard from Jesus’ own mouth words of the coming kingdom, but they endured severe persecution and even death without seeing the fullness of the kingdom come.

In these dark days, we’re not only going to need faith to stand firm until the end. We’re going to need the key ingredient of patience. And patience will only come through an intimate knowledge of God. When we know Him intimately, we will be sure of His faithfulness. And He who is faithful is able to keep us.

“…imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Hebrews 6:12)

 

Photo Credit: chilli-con-carne-recipe | deepdarksquid | Flickr

Note to Self…Look Beyond

True love looks beyond the current sacrifices, struggles, and doubts

to the good that can come from it all.

Source: Note to Self…Look Beyond

Road Trip

Blog_RoadTripI took a road trip to California once and afterwards vowed I’d never do it again. While the drive there was scenic enough to warrant 36 hours strapped in a tiny car, the drive back did me in. Something about it diminished my tolerance for anything beyond a few hours’ ride.

Maybe the terrain had something to do with my change in outlook. On the way there, we had mountain vistas to keep us occupied; on our way back, we chose an alternate route through the desert. Beautiful as the desert can be, it’s not so inspiring when you’re exhausted and want nothing more than to get HOME.

Halfway through I called my sister, on the brink of tears, lamenting, “We’ll never make it!” When we finally crossed our state line, I thought, “Maybe we’ll make it after all.” Until I realized we had another six hours to go, and might I add, the longest six hours EVER.

At the time, my hub and I were in the midst of our second adoption and very much in a similar state of mind—exhausted, wearied by the journey. Thinking maybe it would never happen even after all our efforts. Doubting we could endure what remained to make it happen.

Yet here we are. We made it home after that endless road trip, and have made a few others since. And we made it through our second adoption. If you know my son, you know how worth it that journey was.

Since our adoption finalized, I’ve met several couples on the verge of giving up on their own adoptions, and I was able to encourage them to persevere. Maybe now I can encourage you, too, in whatever journey you’re in.

Don’t give up!

You’ll make it through the barren wasteland if only you choose to persevere. And when you come to the end of your journey, you’ll look back and see that it was worth it. You need only look beyond this present, weary moment to the greater end that WILL result from your endurance.

 

Photo Credit: Free stock photo: Desert, Highway, Roadtrip – Free Image on …

The Time-stopping Alarm Clock that Doesn’t Exist

Alarm Clock from Bing ImagesBehold, my greatest invention: a snooze button that actually stops time. Just press the button at, say, 6am, sleep in for another few hours, and still wake up at 6am that same day. You’ll never be late for work, school, or appointments. And you’ll never be tired again.

Okay, so the miracle snooze hasn’t been invented…yet. But if you find it does exist, please remember me on your gift list. Because there are days when I don’t feel like getting up.

Add to that list of things I don’t always feel like doing…changing another diaper, washing another dish, folding another load of laundry, ironing (ugh), picking up another room full of toys, and…you get the point. Daily life often thrives or fails based on our choice to do what we don’t feel like doing. Getting up each morning is not on option. The same applies to the multitude of other monotonous but necessary daily tasks. Even the most coveted of jobs involves a certain degree of unappealing, mundane routine.

It’s the same in love. In every relationship, there comes a point where we must choose to love. I’ve been married almost twenty years, and I know. There are days when it’s truly, madly, deeply, and days when we’ve lost that loving feeling. First-date feelings fade. Honeymoon euphoria evaporates. The daily grind drones and drains. But no relationship lasts without the determination to love at all times.

Relationships, like buildings, need a firm foundation to stand. While emotions are an integral part of life, they make for a flimsy foundation. Feelings evolve more frequently than a quick-change artist. Relationships that rely solely on sentiment are doomed to fail. True love goes beyond feelings. It’s a commitment to love someone whatever the cost, even when emotion runs dry. And the reward of endurance is deeply rich, satisfying, and lasting relationships.

True Love…Goes BEYOND FEELINGS (Day 43, #50ShadesOfTrueLove)