Trusting and Persevering in Times of Challenge
We are encouraged in this passage not to give up even when everyone seems to turn against us. To stand firm on the foundation of our faith in Jesus. Others can be against us but can’t do lasting harm. Life has its pressures (certainly, as caretakers we are acquainted with pressure) but we are exhorted to keep our eyes on Jesus and not to let anything distract us from serving Him. All we do, is for love of the Lord, regardless that some days appear harder than others. According to Webster’s dictionary, Perseverance (steadfastness) to persist in a state, enterprise or undertaking despite counter influences, opposition or discouragement. Endurance and tenacity are also about staying the course and there are many Scriptures that speak of continuing to persevere. When we persevere, we find solace in the ordinary and are unafraid as we face the everyday burdens of life without anxiety. In doing so, we give testimony to our faith in the Lord. What might God be saying in the dissatisfaction of life when our perseverance begins to lag? God is always calling us to narrow our focus on what matters most. It seems people with wounded souls usually want/need to control everything. We can’t change our circumstances and the attitude we choose is what makes the difference. Making ‘balance’ an integral part of our personal and professional life is vitally necessary. If we do not have adequate self-care, we cannot give from an empty place. Be realistic about what you can manage and give yourself credit for what you have accomplished. It is human to feel guilty if one loses patience or can’t do everything on your own. Sometimes perseverance may mean knowing when to ‘let go’ and listen for God’s voice. Pain and suffering in our lives can often throw our vision out of focus. Our perspective can blur and obscure our perceptions of God’s love at work in the world. Where do I need God’s healing touch for myself? Who in my world is hurting? How can I be an instrument of God’s healing to people who are suffering? We are encouraged by the words of Dr. Wayne Dyer, “Whatever the question, love is the answer. No matter what happens – a mistake, discouragement, illness, grief, fear or worry – God is still speaking!” If we build our lives on faith, hope and love and anchor our lives on the bedrock of the gospel, we can endure (persevere) through life’s storms. Pope Francis says, the world needs a revolution of tenderness. When we let tenderness in, it softens our hearts and heals our wounds. Trials can harden our hearts, but closeness to God and others can lead us closer to our hearts desire. Where do we need God’s tender touch today, so we can continue to persevere? As caregivers, we regularly face new challenges and do what we can to the best of our ability. We are strengthened as we “Cast our care upon the Lord, who will give you support. He will never allow the righteous to stumble.” Psalm 55:23 Will we persevere and cast our care on the Lord, while embracing who we are?