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As a child, I didn’t value perseverance very highly – I don’t think most children do! I liked to be able to do things quickly and easily and if something required perseverance, I often lost interest. As I grew up, however, I learnt that there are probably more things in life which have to be worked at than things which we can do easily and instinctively.
As a grandparent, I see the same traits in my elder granddaughter. As we practise writing letters and numbers, she often gets frustrated and throws her pen down. “I can’t do it!” she says. Now that she has a younger sister, one of her favourite phrases is, “When I’m bigger…” The truth is that we never learn to progress to the next stage without perseverance, however; time is no automatic guarantee to progress, though it usually does help! Today, we read a lovely book about Augustus the tiger and there was a beautifully onomatopoeic description of rain: ‘Pitter patter, pitter patter, drip, drop, plop!’ She loved this sound, but found it a bit of a tongue-twister! “I can’t say it!” was the familiar refrain. We slowed it down and she found she could say it slowly, but not quickly. Yet another challenge requiring patience and perseverance…
The psalms are full of impatience and frustration; the question ‘How long, Lord?’ features in many of them (e.g. Ps 13:1-2, Ps 35:17, Ps 79:5) God rarely seems to answer this question with a specific time frame, but we can glean many clues as to what to do while waiting!
Keep following Jesus
Keep renewing your mind
Keep in fellowship
I was once part of an online worship forum where I chose the user name ‘Keep Singing’. I suppose in many respects, perseverance is all about ‘keeping on…’ It’s as we keep on doing the right things that we find we can do things we formerly couldn’t and we also grow closer to God as we wait for Him.