My kids are on Spring break this week (yes, I think it's too early for Spring break too). We just spent a long weekend at the beach and drove home yesterday.
On the way out of town, about 15 miles from the beach house, my husband said to me, "this little stretch of road always seems so depressing". I said "I'd be depressed too if I had to live out here when I knew I was this close to the beach!"
Even though I was kidding (sort of), I started thinking from a spiritual perspective, how many of us are so close to our "promise land", and live just outside on the banks of the Jordan. We were supposed to camp there temporarily until we crossed over. For some, unfortunately, it has become our permanent home. It can be discouraging when you seem close, and yet feel stuck and can't go any further.
This reminds me of a word I don't like to use much because it means times are tough and I can't just relax, stop, give up, or pull back. That word is...Perseverance. No one really likes to hear that word, unless they are on the other side of it, and they can say "I persevered".
But that is what the Bible tells us produces character, which then produces hope. (Rom. 5:4-5) It's like someone who keeps getting knocked down, over & over & over again, but they KEEP getting back up. Have you ever felt that way? I know I have. Don't be discouraged...you keep getting back up! Everyone wants to focus on the knock down, they forget to congratulate you for getting back up.
I've heard some godly people who I greatly respect say that they've seen too many Christians give up or fall short of their purpose, like a runner who quit just before the finish line. Isn't that terrible?
If you're going to quit at all, at least do it near the beginning. Better yet, count the cost before you even start the race! I could even understand throwing in the towel mid-way cause you're just too exhausted. But right before the finish line? All that hard work for NOTHING!
Some may say "well, if I could just SEE the finish line and knew how close it was...then I would hang in there". Here's the good news...God sees the finish line, and He can give you the grace & strength to help you persevere if you'll let Him.
Disclaimer: This is simply an example to prove a spiritual point. I'm not discriminating against anyone who lives near, but not on the beach...that would make me a hypocrite seeing as how our family beach house is about 5 blocks from the beach...just saying...
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