How many times have you found yourself falling, failing or faltering in your quest to make it through another day? COVID-19? “If I can only make it through another day.” Kids having to do another semester of e-learning? “If I can only make it through another day.” A job that is less-than fulfilling and more-than frustrating? “If I can only make it through another day.”
Perseverance is a commodity we would rather not have to spend, because it is only redeemed in the monotony or struggles of life. We don’t need to persevere at Disney World (well, o.k., some of us do). Perseverance applies only when needed due to the severity of the circumstance.
You have to persevere through COVID-19. You have to persevere when you receive bad news. You have to persevere when life is a marathon and you fill ill-equipped to run it.
The American poet, Robert Frost, once wrote, “The best way out is always through.” But wouldn’t it be better if we could find a detour around the pain and avoid it in the first place? Sure it would, but we don’t always get to choose our path. Many times in life, we are simply placed on a path not of our choosing and not to our liking due to circumstances well beyond our control. No one chooses to go through a pandemic. No one chooses to lose a child. No one chooses to have cancer.
So, yes, the best way out is always through, but it sure helps when we have someone showing us the way. This is the hope we have in Jesus Christ. As the writer of Hebrews says, we look to him, “the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).
We look to Jesus because he knows the way. He’s been there before. “We run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1) because Jesus guides us. He strengthens us. He assures us that he will never abandon us.
Running suggests two things: Hope and progress. We don’t walk the race marked out for us; we run it. Why? Because we have hope that what we are running toward is better than what we are leaving behind. Someone once said, “Always remember that your present situation is not your final destination.” We hope for a better day. And our hope is a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul (Hebrews 6:19) because it is based in the One who has gone before us and won. Now he returns to lead us through the dark valley into his marvelous light.
Running also suggests progress. We’re not standing still. We’re not losing ground. We are anchored, but the anchor is set ahead of us and not behind us. Our anchor of the soul doesn’t hold us back but pulls us forward.
My prayer for you right now is that you will not let the darkness overwhelm you, whatever that darkness may be. Your present situation is not your final destination. So, keep your eyes on Jesus, and He will lead you through.