The word perseverance hit me hard over the weekend. A word I had been so obsessed with a few weeks ago started to slip, and when something starts to slip – it can disappear so easily without noticing – especially when times get tough.
Yesterday at church, I had a moment. This has happened a few times where the pastor or speaker while speaking to the audience, I feel is speaking directly to me. Feeling a spotlight on me, I turned sheepish, embarrassed and even got a slight stomach ache. Now, I’m sure no one knew I was having this moment – but I knew God was watching. I could see Him looking at me and pointing, like, “Are you listening to this?”
I liked what the speaker yesterday brought to my attention. There is a time when you discover your faith and you accept Jesus, and then there is a time when you’re tested to actually follow Jesus. You can believe so easily but then when you are in trouble, when you are asked to give things up or when you want to quit and then asked to persevere, you may follow or you may push God aside.
Clearly, I had been going the last few weeks calling myself a Christian, reading my scriptures, focusing on daily prayer – but was I praying about the hardest stuff I was going through, looking into His Word for wisdom? Barely.
This brings me back to the feelings I had with my weight issue. I was so embarrassed about my requests and felt guilty that here I have been blessed with so many things – why would I be asking God for help with my health and weight loss? Thankfully, I got over that and it changed a huge part of my life.
Now I am being tested again. When you fall down, God isn’t saying, “It’s OK to give up, I still love you.” Even though that is true, I believe that God is saying, “Get back up. Persevere!”
This morning I’m pouring myself a huge glass of perseverance toward my health, my marriage, my friendships and family. Even when you think you are working as hard as you can as a mother, a wife, a friend, doing everything you can financially – and you are knocked down – God will give you more strength and pick you back up if you ask for it. It is in these harder times when we think God is paying no attention to us, but in fact, he is more than ever. And it is never to late to start over, try again.
This made me think of one of my favorite poems:
Footprints in the Sand
One night I had a dream —
I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord, and
Across the sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand;
One belonged to me, and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of my life flashed before us,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that many times along the path of my life,
There was only one set of footprints.
I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in my life
This really bothered me, and I questioned the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you,
You would walk with me all the way;
But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life,
There is only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why in times when I
needed you the most, you should leave me.
The Lord replied, “My precious, precious
child. I love you, and I would never,
never leave you during your times of
trial and suffering.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.”
by Mary Stevenson