This word – PERSEVERANCE – has been showing up in my life lately. When this happens, I like to step back and focus on the word’s meaning so that I can better understand what God is trying to teach me.
Here is Merriam-Webster’s definition of perseverance: the quality that allows someone to continue trying to do something even though it is difficult.
The Apostle Paul liked using this word and I think it aptly describes his life. But does it describe my life? Not yet. But this is an area in my life that God is molding and fine tuning. It’s not easy. As a matter of fact, it’s really hard to stand back and give God free reign in my life but I know that’s the only way I can grow into the servant He wants me to be.
It’s just like the rose that is buried underneath the cold earth all winter long. In the summer, when the ground is no longer cold, the rose comes to life and shares with us it’s quiet and perfect beauty. The picture above is one that my daughter took a few years ago. She has a wonderful talent in seeing the beauty in nature. This is a rose that I probably walked by at least half a dozen times every day on my way in and out of our house. Yet, I never stopped to really see its beauty. God wants each of us to be like this rose. We need to allow His love to shape and perfect us so that we can show the world our love and peace.
There was a time that I related to that rose. Sometimes I felt as if I was still in that cold hard place. During those times, I would remind myself of God’s promises to me – to each of us. In my Bible, I sometimes write and date a little note in the margin if a verse really reaches out to me. In May of 2013, I wrote “I need hope” beside these verses:
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance , character; and character hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given to us.
Now it is almost one year later and I am a little further along in this journey – I have hope. Each time I read and meditate on God’s Word I grow stronger and have a more solid foundation which enables me to claim God’s promises in my life. I’m not sure that this journey will ever be fully complete while I am in the world but I will continue to plod along and rely on God for everything in my life. He will never leave me nor forsake me – after all, He promised.