I grabbed a fresh cup of coffee, its hefty aroma calling to me from an ocean of deep thoughts — thoughts of persevering through the fiery trials. I settled onto the porch swing and tried to relax in the presence of the graceful day lilies swaying rhythmically in the breeze.
My spirit was exhausted from waging battle against life. My mind quarreled with the faithfulness of God; My spirit reminded me of my blessings. I knew the promises of God … I did.
But my weary soul struggled desperately to walk in that reality.
I’m Persevering, but Just Barely
Lord, forgive me for being so frustrated. I feel angry that life must be so hard! I’m persevering, but just barely. I miss the joy of my salvation. I pouted as I slung accusation after accusation at my Heavenly Father.
A flash of gray raced past the porch and leaped onto the base of the wrought-iron pole standing in the midst of my begonias. There, the bird feeder hung temptingly about four feet off the ground, secured by the hook shape at the end of the pole. Catching his breath, a young squirrel glanced in my direction.
Excitement was written all over his face.
Four tiny paws gripped the slender pole. His furry tail twitched uncontrollably with happiness. With sheer determination, the squirrel inched his way upward towards his prize. When he got parallel to the feeder, he S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-D across to the perch so he could dig into the morsels of goodness.
Watching his can-do attitude was funny enough, but then the wind began to blow.
Blowing wind begets spinning bird feeders.
Spinning bird feeders beget spinning squirrels.
I realized the squirrel had a choice to make: either let go of his prize, fall to the ground, and start over OR grab hold with all fours and hang on with all his might until the wind passed by.
He chose the prize.
Perseverance in Motion
Perseverance in motion.
The squirrel’s back paws swung over to the base of the bird feeder. Hanging upside down, he held on with all fours as though his life depended on it. His little body spun and twirled, eyes wild with excitement. A bushy, gray tail twitched in cadence to the swinging feeder.
There was no way this little guy was letting go of his prize. No sir! And no wind or difficulty was going to get in his way, either. He simply held on tight, kept his eyes on the prize, and waited for things to calm down, persevering all the while.
Then, very matter-of-factly, he S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-D his back paws across the great divide until he reached the pole again, gripped it tightly, and resumed indulging himself with those delectable seeds filled with goodness.
I knew this was a God-moment.
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it” ~ 1 Corinthians 9:24, NKJV
Swinging back and forth, I pondered the lesson the Lord was showing me. In a race, only one person can win the prize. God wants us to run in such a way that we win. I want to win the prize of the high calling of Jesus Christ. I want to rest in His presence, walk in His provision and enjoy the blessings of discipleship.
Keep Persevering. You’ll Win the Prize
Like the squirrel, I want to keep persevering until I can grab every little morsel of goodness God has for me, no matter how difficult.
Though for a season, I feel like I’m spinning upside-down, holding onto God’s promises with all fours, I know if I can keep my eyes on the prize, the wind will eventually calm down, the spinning cease and I can indulge myself once again with the goodness of God.
Thank you so much for stopping by. I would love for you to share what’s on your heart in the comments below. Scroll a little farther down and you’ll see where you can leave your comments. Together, we can find the nearness of God in our darkest moments.
Sweet blessings to you,