“If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.” - Proverbs 24:10
- There aren't any hard-and-fast rules for getting ahead in the world -- just hard ones.
- You don't have to lie awake nights to succeed. Just stay awake days.
- There is no poverty that can overtake diligence. -Japanese proverb
- By perseverance the snail reached the Ark. -Spurgeon
- Triumph is just "umph" added to try.
Perseverance is not something that we talk about much anymore in modern society. Most things that we want can be obtained with the swipe of a credit card, the push of a button, or through other rapid means. There are very few things in life that cannot be accomplished quickly... or so we have been conditioned to think.
There is typically an adrenaline rush that is associated with a new challenge. Ask any athlete who has competed at any level in a big game about the first five minutes of the contest. There is so much energy, passion, excitement, and adrenaline because when a challenge arises, the competitor inside comes out and wants to set the tone early! Every coach that I know will tell you that more times than not, the game is usually won in the fourth quarter. Why? It takes endurance and strength to face opposition, deal with problems, adjust your game plane, and keep competing at a high level.
Things come at us in life that we are not expecting. When they initially come, we have a tendency to face them with a stiff upper lip, to charge, and to embrace the challenge. Let that same challenge prolong itself for a while and see what happens. Many times, people quit because the adrenaline has worn off and now it is not glamorous it is just life. This is where the difference is always made. When things are not new anymore but life has settled in, what are you going to do?
I have discovered in my life that when hard things arise, God is usually developing character in my life and is also placing a Divine PIVOT ahead of me. None of us like change, but when opposition arises, everything changes! God allows these moments to change things in our lives in order to allow Him to be glorified more thoroughly in us. During this Covid-19 pandemic, God has been using these moments for some Divine PIVOTS in my life, ministry, and in every area. I have felt the adrenaline wear off (weeks ago), and now we are in the perseverance stage! This is not the time for any of us to quit. PIVOT! Embrace what God is doing and see what He is changing in our lives for His glory!
When she was young, Florence Chadwick wanted desperately to be a great speed swimmer. At the age of six she persuaded her parents to enter her in a 50-yard race. She came in last, so she practiced every day for the new year. Again she entered and lost. When she was an 11-year old, Florence won attention and praise for completing the San Diego Bay endurance swim -- 6 miles in all. But she still wanted to be a speed swimmer. At 14 she tried for the national backstroke championship but came in second to the great Eleanor Holm.
At 18 she tried out for Olympic speed swimming and came in fourth -- only three made the team. Frustrated, she gave it up, married, and moved on to other interests. As she matured, however, Florence began to wonder if she might not have done better if she had specialized in endurance swimming, something that came more naturally. So, with the help of her father, she began swimming distances again. Twelve years after she had failed to make the Olympic team, Florence Chadwick swam the English Channel, breaking Gertrude Ederle's 24-year-old record. It took a little time, but eventually she found out what she could do best and did it.
Don't throw your hands up in frustration as this crisis continues, allow God to develop perseverance in your life and ask Him what it is He would like to change in you. This pandemic could be one of the greatest things that has ever happened in your life personally, because from it, God may allow one of the greatest pivots that will bring Him maximum glory through you!