"So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing."
– James 1:4 (NLT)
When my three kids were five and under, I came home to a hard-working wife, Cheerios on the floor, and smelly diapers. Exhausted, I said to my wife, "Honey, right now, endurance is a success." We both had large goals and my wife was zealous for our kids to read, play, and advance spiritually. But given life’s pressures, doing the basics and “Staying in the game,” was a success for us.
Instead of being overwhelmed with the pandemic and what we COULD do, what enduring BASICS SHOULD we do?
Here are 3 reasons why endurance itself is a success:
1. Endurance is a success because it grows our character.
Quintessential Prime Minister of Britain Winston Churchill once said, "Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty ..." When we train our kids to see other's needs, pray with our families, love our spouse, and work together at home, that endurance grows our character. Paul said, "We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation" (Romans 5:3-4). Endurance isn’t glamorous, but it is a success because it develops resilience in our character and produces hope.
2. Endurance is a success because life is a marathon of service, not a sprint.
Getting through the first few days of the Coronavirus was easier when Netflix was fresh and working from home was the 'new normal.' But now, long-term basics of caring for a child, loving our spouse, doing the dishes (again!), is significant because "our labor for others is not in vain" (1 Corinthians 15:58). This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stop and rest from time to time. Schedule breaks! Serving people with wise endurance now, prepares us to succeed in the marathon of life before us in the future.
3. Endurance is success because it models Jesus.
Jesus came not to be served but to serve, (Matthew 20:28) and give His life a ransom for many. Serving our neighbor, setting the table and serving your family models Jesus. All service in Jesus’ name is noticed by God and will one day yield joy in His presence. (Matthew 25:23) Jesus, our Champion, "endured the cross" (Hebrews 12:2) so we could be forgiven. When we endure and serve, we model our Savior Jesus. Let's embrace endurance and be like Jesus. When we do, that is a real success!
Soak and Reflect
God promises to be strong for us even when we are weak. When we are weak, He is strong! (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Father, thank you for promising to finish the work you started in me. You are doing good work in me and your power helps me endure. Thank you for growing me when I want to quit and empowering me when I'm tired. Help me to have long-obedience in the same direction and be like you, Jesus, amen.