Perseverance

It might seem funny that I’m writing about perseverance today when I’ve felt like I’ve just been hanging on by a thread for the last few weeks. If perseverance really does build character like it says in Romans 5:3-5, I must have a lot of it by now. 🙂 No, just kidding. I don’t want to brag on myself when I haven’t done the work.

First, though, I want to quote the verses so you’ll know what God says about it. From Romans 5:3-5, “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” I don’t know many of us who glory in our sufferings, at least not in the middle of them. Pain is not pleasant for any of us. But, we suffer while we’re in this life sometimes even more than we did before we became believers. And that begs the question–if we suffer more and we don’t see other Christians suffer to know it is normal, why do we become believers? Why is Jesus so important to so many of us?

I believe it is because we can see the possibilities of a limitless love. We can see the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross and think that maybe, maybe, we can let Him in our lives to change our story. We can have limitless love in our lives despite the pain because of Who we’ve invited into our lives. Who wouldn’t want limitless love? Who wouldn’t want the grace and mercy Jesus promises to each of us?

That’s why perseverance matters even when we’re hanging on by a thread like I am today. God has put each of these devotions from 100 Days to Brave in my path when I’ve needed them. The Scripture and the songs from the author have been just what I’ve needed for each step of this journey to becoming brave. Today’s song is no different. It’s called Golden Thread, and it’s by Joy Williams. It’s reminded me there might be some gold on the end of that fraying thread which is about to break, and I just might want to reinforce it to see what God has planned next. Let me quote the lyrics so you can see.

Golden Thread by Joy Williams

I’m holding on for dear life, it’s not looking good
Is it now, is it now?
It’s all up in the air and never coming down
Coming down, is it now?

Spinning through my fingers, watch it go
Out of my hands, out of my hands
All over again
I’m hanging on, just hanging by a golden thread
Just wanna know while everything’s unraveling
I’m hanging on, just hanging by a golden thread

Don’t sew it off; it’s lovely tearing at the seams
It’s what it is
It’s you and me
I’m standing in the in-between of what I was and what I need

Slipping through my fingers, watch it go
Out of my hands, out of my hands
All over again
I’m hanging on, just hanging by a golden thread
Just wanna know while everything’s unraveling
I’m hanging on, just hanging by a golden thread

Please don’t watch me, please don’t watch me cry
Oh I don’t wanna be this way
It’s harder than it looks, so please don’t watch me cry
And admit that I’m frayed

Out of my hands, out of my hands
All over again
I’m hanging on, just hanging by a golden thread
Just wanna know while everything’s unraveling
I’m hanging on, just hanging by a golden thread

Slipping through my fingers, watch it go

I especially liked the line, “Please don’t watch me cry.” I know people are uncomfortable watching people cry, and I’m pretty sure the reverse is also true. No one wants to admit they’re frayed. That’s why they want to appear strong even if they’re not. It is my belief though that perseverance can involve crying and hurting and admitting you’re in pain. It’s the best way for God to heal the hurt. And I don’t mean healing where no one knows your pain. I mean healing where we all know it’s okay with God if we are just strong enough.
Yes, that’s the other song which has touched me today, and I want to finish my post with quoting the chorus of Strong Enough by Matthew West.
Strong Enough by Matthew West
I know I’m not strong enough to be
Everything that I’m supposed to be
I give up
I’m not strong enough
Hands of mercy won’t you cover me
Lord right now I’m asking you to be
Strong enough
Strong enough
God, please help all of us, and me especially, to not give up or quit, and help us all to persevere! In Your Son’s amazing Name, Amen!

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