“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Hebrews 12:1-2
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance.” Romans 5:3
“As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” James 5: 11
Perseverance seems to be an apt word for this time of year. Kids seem to increase in hyper activity and decrease in patience as summer approaches. We can find ourselves going through the motions as we jump from one obligation to the next. I recently read a great book about the power of perseverance and the hope and joy that comes from enduring tight and tough times. (The book is Hope Heals by Jay and Katherine Wolf – HIGHLY recommend). We often question stress or suffering – pushing away our faith when we come across situations we cannot control or explain. The Bible actually teaches the opposite and it is a valuable lesson, not only for us, but for our children as well. When we moved from Atlanta two years ago, I was pregnant and walking away from relationships I had spent a lifetime creating. I felt abandoned by God, but quickly realized it was only God who could bring compassion and mercy in this time of anxiety and loneliness. The more I leaned into Him, choosing to fix my eyes on Jesus and learn from His character, the more I felt the Lord’s identity take over my own and begin to shape our community here in Orlando. I talk about this to my daughter often. When she gets sad or frustrated, we talk about slowing down and leaning on God’s help. We talk about practicing thankfulness or even just saying Jesus’ name in order to calm down and regroup for whatever task is ahead (this works about 10% of the time with a 3 year old ☺). I pray that you will practice perseverance – choosing God even when times are tight or stressful or tough, so that you too can experience His great compassion and mercy.
Grace Brown, Faith and Family Coordinator