“Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Endurance. It’s a word that’s been fluttering in my heart of late, and a lesson I believe I’m in the midst of learning. I guess it’s a lifelong lesson. It often comes with setbacks, and things not going as you’d hoped or planned. Lately, life’s been throwing challenges at me, screaming “Come at me Bro!” and it’s been interesting, to say the least. My responses have varied, all the way from cowering into a corner, to giving up and giving in to cynicism, to shoving the challenge back at Life’s face. It’s been emotionally tiring I suppose, the responding (or lack thereof), and it’s felt like a constant fight.
Speaking to a really good friend of mine the other day, we sat and mused aloud about our lives, laughing at the situations we both find ourselves in. One of the comments was that no wonder God doesn’t tell us everything about our lives all at once. Because if He’d told me about some of the things I’m experiencing now, I probably would’ve tapped out (let’s be honest) and asked Him to skip this lesson.
The fight is CHOOSING to endure. Choosing joy in the midst of darkness, choosing hope in the midst of hopelessness, and choosing LIFE, when things around you are dying. The fight is choosing to fully engage with the life I have- with its complications and pain, and choose GRACE in the midst of that. That grace is a strange place where God is taking me by the hand and navigating me through the mire of life. Sometimes I feel like I’m losing. But there WILL be fruit from this, He promises.
Along the way, I must say- I see now more than ever how good things take a long time. Good (by good, I should clarify, I mean something strong and whole- something that is not easily shaken, and that will bring life) is not built in a day. It’s built in the persevering, in choosing joy in the midst of hopelessness, and in my response to the things life throws at me. The more I’m stretched now, and the better I bounce back and recover, the more I can endure in the future. According to the book of James, this produces maturity. I want me some of that. I am more and more convinced that my responses to the things that happen in life are perhaps more important than the incidences themselves.
Life will throw it’s challenge at me, and it’s still yelling “Come at me Bro,” in the background of everything I do. I’ve pretty much decided that no matter what, I’m gonna yell right back.