I’m a wimp.
This isn’t exactly a new discovery, but in light of recent events it’s a fairly obvious physical trait.
When I think of myself I see a strong, confident girl ready to take on anything with a sparkling smile, sense of humor, and endurance that would outlast Chuck Norris (maybe a little past his prime).
Of course, my daydream usually commences as I’m perched in a comfy chair with my phone, snacks, purse, books, iPad, sketchbook, and Snuggie in-and-around my lap.
Then there are the periodical times when I leave my delusion to go jogging — and while I feel great and natural and like I’m out to change the world when I start, things start to change in about three minutes.
The first time I stop to walk I’m huffing, noticing the pretty wildflowers, and with my ponytail swinging behind me, trying to convince myself that the end of my route looks farther away than it really is.
The second time I stop to walk my sides hurt and I have given up on putting the earbuds back in my ears every five steps.
By the time I’m, say, half-a-mile down the road, the wildflowers might as well shove their scrawny heads into the ground!
I’m pretty good with not complaining and staying focused on my goal of reaching home… but when I’m 3/4 of a mile down the road I’ve started to make up medical terms for the condition in my spine and consider consulting my doctor before engaging in such a rigorous activity, as this may not be right for me and it is 58.2 percent likely I may come down with serious side effects that may or may not be permanent (please peel back label for continued warnings).
Okay, here’s my point:
Discipline and endurance are never developed in one experience.
We sometimes think we accomplish worthwhile things without sacrifice — without cost.
But as much as we wish we could be magically tanned, grand, and in command after a short run, things just don’t work that way. Strength takes time to build up and diligence to maintain.
After reading a short snippet in the Bible, you shouldn’t consider yourself finished for the day and ready for any spiritual battle that comes in the next week. Spiritual depth is the result of faithfully nourishing your soul over time.
After asking for all your needs to be met in a five minute prayer before you sleep, you shouldn’t think your job is done. The Bible says “the fervent prayers of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16), not the fast recounting of someone who wants to jump into bed.
Fasting (a practice definitely requiring endurance) shows a Christian’s true heart position and reveals a dedication to the principle that God and His righteousness is more valuable to us than even our most basic survival need. Going without food is very difficult. But if you do it regularly, it becomes easier and you begin to truly understand the concept of letting go of the earth’s pleasures to rely on God.
Romans 2:7 calls us to “persistence,” “perseverance,” and “patient continuance” (depending on your translation).
So when you begin something, whether it’s a project, an exercise, or seeking after God it may be very difficult to continue diligently.
But persevere and work through the discipline necessary to reach your goal. And then turn around to say, “Glory be to God for His unfailing mercy and love.”
Because don’t forget: There is a cost. Nothing worthwhile is easy — and nothing is worthwhile that doesn’t bring glory and honor to our Lord.
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