Most of us will not recall how we learned to walk. The process entailed many falls along the way, but with perseverance and encouragement from our parents and carers, we gradually mastered the art of walking!
The ability to persevere with a task, a project, acquiring a new skill, a season of difficulty or change, develops our character and strengthens our inner resolve to achieve the desired outcome.
Perseverance under difficulties and challenges or ‘trials and tribulations’ can provide us with an opportunity to deepen our faith and trust and hope in God.
We are currently traversing the choppy waters and stormy seas of a global pandemic. This has impacted our lives to a lesser or greater degree depending on where we are situated in the world. It has impacted all walks of life and all age groups, though some seem to be more susceptible to the virus than others.
At the end of his Lent 2020 series of reflections, Brian Draper invited people to sum up their experience of the journey through Lent in just 6 words.
A frontline health worker, here in the UK, summed it up as, “Nothing will ever be the same again.”
As the bewildered disciples gathered after Good Friday, behind closed doors, to mourn the loss of Jesus, they were not prepared for what was to come. Even though the gospels accounts ( eg Matthew 20: 17-19) show Jesus preparing them for the events in Jerusalem, they had not fully understood what he was telling them.
Jesus appeared a number of times to his disciples after the resurrection. He joined two of them as they walked to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35). They were stunned by the events of the preceding days and they definitely recognised that everything had changed. Their journey could be titled ‘The Road to Amaze Us’!
Currently we are living through unprecedented times of change. We need to persevere with the current guidelines of lockdown and social distancing….however challenging and hard they may be.
I would like to invite you now to consider the following:
- How are you persevering in the situation in which you now find yourself?
- What are you finding challenging about it?
- What strategies can be put in place, to help you with this?
- What are the blessings of this situation for you?
Finally take a moment to read the following verses slowly. Choose one of them to ponder and reflect on for a few minutes.
In Romans 5: 3-4 (NIV) we read:
we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope
The Passion Translation of Romans 5:3-5 reads:
But that’s not all! Even in times of trouble we have a joyful confidence, knowing that our pressures will develop in us patient endurance. And patient endurance will refine our character, and proven character leads us back to hope. And this hope is not a disappointing fantasy, because we can now experience the endless love of God cascading into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who lives in us!
In James 1:4 (NIV) we read:
Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
You might like to record your experience of reflecting on your chosen verse, in your journal.