Endurance, resilience and perseverance are vital to life. Life is a marathon, not a sprint, and ‘quick fixes’ are rarely successful in the long term.
At this time, it can be hard to keep carrying on. Whether we’re still working and feeling fearful, exhausted and perhaps taken for granted or not working and feeling useless, anxious and bored, the urge to give up is always present. Life, at the moment, may feel like a trudge rather than a race; we may feel bogged down and weighed down by burdens and pressures over which we have little or no control. Energy and enthusiasm may well have slipped away like water seeping slowly from a cracked pot. We may feel our feet dragging and our heads drooping.
How do we carry on when we feel we can’t go another step? How do we find the strength and motivation to keep going? The urge to stay in bed and pull the covers over us may feel so tempting right now.
For all of us at some point we will run out of steam. Our own strength, personality and will can only take us so far. Christians, however, don’t have to rely on their own strength, personality and will to get by. Instead, we have access to the presence and power of God.
1 Pet 5:10 says, “the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”
Strong. Firm. Steadfast. Immovable.
I’m reminded of the folk song, used by slaves in America and political activists in the UK, which has as its chorus the repeated refrain, “We shall not, we shall not be moved.”
Perhaps standing strong like the tree by the river (mentioned in the song) is just as important as moving on. Perhaps being steadfast and standing firm is all we can do right now. But, as God’s word reminds us, that’s a hugely important thing to do. “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you.” (1 Cor 15:58)
We don’t stand in our own strength, but in God’s. (Eph 6:10-17) We don’t endure because we’re strong, but because He restores us. He enables us to carry on.
No matter how we feel, if we stand in His strength, we will find the grace to carry on. He won’t let us stumble and fall. He will restore us. “By the grace of God I can carry on.” (‘Forever’, Chris Tomlin)