Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Perseverance…don’t quit. In my inventory of weaknesses is something that I wish wasn’t. I would like to tell you that I have the perseverance of a thoroughbred race horse bolting from the gate with only one goal—to finish and to finish first. And while I am not a quitter, I do sometimes, “peter out.” Merriam Webster defines that as “to gradually become smaller, weaker, or less before stopping or ending”.
During 2020 there were too many times when I just wasn’t sure I was going to finish well—or finish at all. But that wasn’t always a bad thing because it caused me to look inwardly and upward—to my Dearest Daddy.
During those times when I wasn’t sure of much of anything, it was then that I found myself turning to the One who was sure. When my steps were unsure, I found myself tracking with the One whose steps were rock solid and sure. I think 2020 taught me something of hanging in there—to persevere—to keep going. While I was out west this past May I saw it over and over again. First, it was a wild flower blooming in what can only be called dust. The roots had somehow dug deep and found the water of life. I saw it in a small tree as it grew from a crevice in a large rock. It made no sense but somehow that tree decided there was a way to grow in an impossible place.
I saw it too from another small tree growing from a large rock in the middle of a lake. There was no soil to be found and yet it grew…it persevered. It decided that it would survive, it would thrive, even though the odds were totally against success. You see, the Bible is filled with stories of men and women who trusted God against all odds. A shepherd boy becomes a king, another “has-been” shepherd leads a million or so people to a new land—the promised land. A band of eleven men from various walks of life chose to follow a young rabbi (who happened to be the Son of God) and the message they shared changed the world.
All of these folks failed at one time or another, but they didn’t quit. They chose to persevere. If you wonder how America has lasted for these 245 years, there are two reasons. The hand of God and the perseverance of ordinary men and women who gave what they had for a cause they believed in. A.Cause.They.Believed.In.
We have survived one of the greatest challenges we have faced in our lifetime—the pandemic of 2020. However, I am sure the greater enemy wasn’t the pandemic, but rather the division that swept our land like a wildfire. Someone wiser than you or me once said that a house divided against itself cannot stand—Jesus said that before Lincoln did.
William Carey, a great missionary, once said, “The future is as bright as the promises of God” and I believe that is true today. But we need to learn from the founding fathers, from the men who stormed Normandy or trudged through the jungles of Vietnam or froze on the hills of Korea. We have to learn again to trust the hand of God. The Bible says that we should trust God with everything we have and turn away from the tendency to trust ourselves. If we do that…He will guide us…He will direct us. We also need to learn the lesson of that small tree growing from that giant rock. We will not quit, we will persevere—we will find life in the most unlikely of places. Trust God and don’t quit. That sounds like a plan.
With the pandemic largely in the rearview mirror, it seems to some degree we have been given a second chance. I hope we will take advantage of this gift God has given us. I hope we will learn the power of perseverance and the power of four simple words, “Love God…Love People.” I may not know what tomorrow holds but I do know the One who holds tomorrow and that is good enough for me. I am certain no matter what, that as always, “He’s got this.”