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Something Worth Enduring For

I only endure the process of peeling and cutting potatoes because I like to see the joy on people's faces when they taste a bit of the Earth and find it be as God says, "Very good." 


I think the worst part about struggling for anything is all the time I have to wonder. 

I used to think I was quite good at patience and forbearance. You know, because I embroidered intricate, gorgeous scenes all out of tiny stitches. But then I could see my progress, feel it, and most of all know that my goal was coming closer, no matter how tiny my stitches might be. 

The problem with real-life is you just can't know. 

Ah, but to have the gift of hindsight. "See! I knew I would succeed!" 

"One step at a time," they say. If only those steps were as visibly known as the tiniest stitches I embroidered. I simply don't know how close, if I am at all, to my finish line. And even worse, I wonder. "Is all this worth it? Or am I just wasting my time?"

It's rather odd, how we humans view endurance. Those that have won their success are applauded for their great endurance. And those of us who are still enduring toward our prize, well . . . we are mocked or advised to "give up". 

It's as if endurance is only a virtue if we have tangible proof that our goal is achievable. Otherwise ... we're wasting our time wallowing over unrealistic desires and dreams. 

  • The woman who is infertile is told to submit to God's will . . . until she conceives. And then it is a miracle. And then her faith is held up as an example. Her desire is said to have been good rather than misplaced.
  • The young man who decides to make something of himself without college. He is told he'll fail without a degree. And yet he endures, all the while told he is foolish. Until suddenly he is an icon. He had questioned his worth, yet now he knows he chose the right path. 
  • The girl who loves a man others deem unworthy. She persists, wondering herself if her love was rightly placed. But when she marries, her endurance is now seen as romantic.

We see these as stories of great faith and endurance. But only because they have won. And those of us enduring . . . we are still under skepticism, not to be heralded, mostly to be questioned and distracted. 

 
 Endurance is good, we say. It is the moral of our stories. So why don't we praise those as they are enduring? 

And yet . . . many women remain childless, many college drop-outs never rise, and most girls do fall for bad men. Although they endure, they never find their end. Is their endurance foolhardy? Is it less than that of those who won? Simply because they did not win? 

As I pursue publication, maintaining my livlihood and sanity, and priotize relationships, I wonder, what do I endure toward? What is the purpose of my life? 

Is endurance a virtue in and of itself? If not, then why do we applaud that in those that have succeeded? Or is it only endurance that will win that is noble? But how are we to know that until it's been had? And dare we ever question endurance until it has clearly failed or triumphed? Are we perhaps pulling out a false moral? Or is there something greater than endurance?


"Have faith. Endure."

But . . .why? Why endure if our heart is only crushed purposelessly? 

Ah, but maybe that is it. We are worshipping the path. We have lost sight of the goal; the something that makes endurance worthy.

Maybe more odd than valuing finished endurance over ongoing endurance is that we have lost the ability to recognize some desires are so great we must endure or have them. Endurance is not what we seek, but what we do as we seek.

Our examples are not of great endurance so much as great desires. The endurance is the mockery, the fear of failing, overcoming impossibilities, painful faith-filled tiny steps. Endurance is not victory, it brings us to victory.

While the woman waits for her child to be born, she does not think, "Ah, what a beauty this endurance is!" She says, "I rejoice that I shall bear a child!" She may even laugh at those who romanticize her labor and pregnancy. That was her season of sorrow and misery. Her prize is her child.

Not every trial is worthy, yes. Sometimes we should give up rather than endure. Patience is not a virtue if we stand with our back turned to God waiting to see what He might do to us as we meander. No, there must be something that confirms our struggling. 

This something can be nothing less than our goal. If it is worth having, then it is worth enduring for. Its value is not determined by whether or not we achieve it, but whether or not we believe we must achieve it. And so we endure until the end.

James 5:11 "Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy."

Matthew 24:13 "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."

And, so back to the beginning. 

Maybe the truly odd thing is not that people don't appreciate endurance until after it's been done, but that they don't recognize that some things are worth enduring for long before they might be had. 
Do you have a destination worthy of the path you're blazing? 


This might not be something you can tell me, but what is something that you are enduring because you love what or whom it is you seek? 

Above all may it be Yeshua; to know Him better, fuller; to have His light radiate through our own lives on Earth until Heaven is won. 

Beyond that . . . may your lesser desires, goals, and successes be blessed and worthy as you choose to suffer for them through endurance! 



Comments

  1. I've always struggled with knowing if I should let things go or endure. I'm stubborn so I usually end up holding on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you stubborn, dear, or do you just really know what you want and you're faithful in that knowledge? Asking myself this same question ;D

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