Debbie Salter Goodwin
Persevere: A Word for the Journey
What do you do when life reorders the core routine so much that you feel lost? What do you do when that big purpose that pushed you through the day is gone and the little purposes that are left leave you empty? What do you do in transitions and life reversals that you know will take more than you want to give to find new normal?
One word whispers hope to me: persevere.
Perseverance is a journey word. You can't stand still and persevere. Perseverance makes you move. Get on with the journey. Get to the end?
To the end of what?
There really is only one answer to that question: continue to the end of “that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” (Philippians 3:12)
I must reinvest in the end of the journey. I must remember that God’s goal for me is bigger than any one part of the journey. I won’t make it to the end if I let any part of the journey stop me or tempt me toward some detour or shortcut.
The problem is that when perseverance is what you need, every rest stop looks appealing, makes you want to put yourself in a time-out that feels deserved and appropriate. That is when it is time to remember what perseverance is not. Perseverance is not a call to try harder or a self-effort push or some unfair punishment. Trying to persevere using those energy sources will cause burn-out and journey-stopping paralysis.
Instead, perseverance is a commitment to the BIG GOAL. It is a non-negotiable commitment to a non-negotiable end. You raise a flag inside your soul to say I will get there no matter what it takes. You understand that hard times are not obstacles to block your progress but a training period to make you stronger. They make you review every reason you are making this journey. They give you an opportunity to choose the end all over again, but stronger.
That’s what I am doing today: persevering. I will continue in what I have learned (2 Timothy 3:14), continue in my faith (Colossians 1:23), and continue to live in Christ (Colossians 2:6).
I will persevere.
As long as Jesus is my guide, my road, the voice in my ear, and the thumb in my back;
I will persevere.
Even as I write these words, I feel the new energy for a different journey. I persevere by God’s empowerment. Because that is not a heavy journey, it makes all the difference.
Do you know someone who is about to give up or take a shortcut when they need to persevere? Consider sharing these words with them by e-mail or Facebook. Debbie