Perseverance

When I heard the word “Perseverance” in the past, I don’t really ever remember giving it much thought.  I never thought too much about it being of any high importance.    If asked…. and I am not sure any one actually had ever asked me….if that was something I had… or did,  I am sure I THOUGHT I had all I needed.   If it was worth persevering…. I did…. if I happened to not persevere… it must not have been meant to be.   Easy way out of that one don’t cha think?

Lately, however, that word has stuck in my craw….. so to speak.

As a Health Coach I get to see Dieters come in on a weekly basis to get weighed and measured.  Many come in with smiles on their faces because they can’t wait to see what changes have taken place since their last visit.    Some enter the door with a look of dread, admitting their fear that the changes on the scale will be a negative one because…… well…. it was just a bad week and…. “cheats happen”.

My job then, is to encourage them to get back on the wagon.  We analyze the situation that brought on the “cheat”… Give suggestions on how to make the next situation a bit less intimidating…..and…encourage them that, even though it may be a set back…they certainly have not done any irreparable damage.   Remind them to NEVER give up.
Like the story of the Turtle and the Hare….. No matter how impossible it looked at times…. the turtle kept going….. step by step…. hour by hour…. day by day…. until!
He not only crossed the finish line…… HE WON!
Now…..with a new bounce in their step and a renewed sense of determination, we get their supplies for the week and send them back out the same door they came in just moments ago ready to admit defeat.

A week passes and …..  Success!   Temptations were easier to overcome!   The scales were our friend again…. and the inches melted off like butter …..
Is that a new shirt???
A size smaller????

Week after week the door opens and closes with new and old friends.   Some have been with us for just a few weeks…… and some ….. several months.
Each with a different numerical goal….. but each with the same desired outcome…!
To Achieve their goal!!!!
To finish!!!!

The day arrives when we take that last trip to the scale …..watching with anticipation as the numbers bounce back and forth…. up and down … until they finally rest on those
sweet set of numbers we have etched in our minds, declaring……..We- have-crossed-our-finish-line!!!!!   Bells and whistles begin to sound off inside both theirs and my head as
we celebrate the victory with a high-five or a hug… and sometimes …. a tear of happiness!   Victory is so very sweet!

Was it always easy?
Some will say it was the hardest thing they have ever done…. some say it wasn’t all that bad.    But ALL who have persevered to reach their goal will say…. Yes… it was worth it!

Unfortunately…. we have had some on the program who have given up before tasting the sweet victory.   Some have decided with in the first few weeks that this is just something
they are not ready to do…..the finish line looks too far away to even begin the race.
Life throws several wrenches in to their days and they lose focus and veer off the path and forget about any hopes of seeing a finish line.
Some…. just decide it just isn’t worth the effort to go any farther and settle for a shady spot on the side of the road to spend the rest of their lives instead of persevering to the end!
This makes me extremely sad because I KNOW what the finish line looks like….what it feels like…… and want them to be able to cross it and experience that victory as well.

The Scripture:
Luke 18:1-8 AMP
1 Also [Jesus] told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not to turn coward (faint, lose heart, and give up).  2 He said, In a certain city there was a judge who neither reverenced and feared God nor respected or considered man. 3 And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, Protect and defend and give me justice against my adversary.  4 And for a time he would not; but later he said to himself, Though I have neither reverence or fear for God nor respect or consideration for man,5 Yet because this widow continues to bother me, I will defend and protect and avenge her, lest she give me intolerable annoyance and wear me out by her continual coming or at the last she come and rail on me or assault me or strangle me. 6 Then the Lord said, Listen to what the unjust judge says! 7 And will not [our just] God defend and protect and avenge His elect (His chosen ones), who cry to Him day and night?  Will He defer them and delay help on their behalf?   8 I tell you, He will defend and protect and avenge them speedily.     However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find (persistence in) faith on the earth?

Wow… now THAT is persistence!!!   She knew what she wanted…. what she needed… and she refused to give up!!!
……. AND……
She got what she was after!

but …. did you read and comprehend verse 8?
….. However,…….when the Son of Man comes…….. will He find……. PERSISTENCE ….. in faith on the earth???

God knows that we are going to face some trials…some struggles…. some just plain old Junk in our day-to-day lives….we are going to have bad days…. bad weeks…. bad ….years!
but when we do…. we need to get back on our feet….get to our Life Coach….Our Prayer Closet with Jesus….. the Bible…. our Church home…. analyze the situation … get suggestions on how to get past this situation and learn so when faced with the next one it will be a bit less intimidating…..and…get encouraged that, even though it may be a set back…we certainly have not done any irreparable damage.

Some….or many….. by the sound of this passage…. have …. or will not persevere to the end with their faith….they will …..lose it…. forget about it…. or just plain shuck it….!   They have for whatever reason…..lost the vision of the finish line!     Some are just moments from victory… and yet… give up and choose to forfeit the crown by deciding it is not worth putting any more effort in it.

As heartbreaking as it is for me… how much more so is it to God?!   I can hear Him say…. come on… not much farther… . you can do it…. one more day…. one more year…. you’re gonna make it!!!!
If your tired of the race….. and have lost sight of the finish line….. let those words ring in your heart and in your mind today!!!
He is the greatest coach ever…. He is waiting at the finish line for each of us!   Cheering us on…. Encouraging us to keep going!!!   Don’t give up!!!!!    It’s only for a little while longer!

James 1:12 NAS
Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord  has promised to those who love Him.

There is a reward at the end of the Journey!!!   It’s a Promise!!

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