Per·se·vereˌ pərsəˈvir/ verb: continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success. Facing difficulty with little to no prospect of success. Oh my goodness… This sounds so bleak! Persevering without hope, without Christ, is bleak at best. Persevere is a verb. And action word. My idea of persevering is waiting while moving forward. That sounds more hopeful, doesn’t it?
If we persevere with Christ there is always hope. With Christ, we can forge through. With hope, we can hang on, sometimes by the tips of our fingernails but we can do it. We can have confidence that we’ll make it because we know how the story ends.
There are so many stories in the scripture of those who waited. Those who stuck it out. Maybe not always with the best attitudes but they persevered. And even those who died not even getting to see what it was they were waiting for – their Promised Land. Abraham and Sarah waited for a baby. Joseph waited to be rescued. Jacob waited for his bride – the one he wanted anyway. Anna waiting at the temple to see Jesus as she was promised. Paul waited in prison. God’s people waited for their Messiah for centuries. There was a period of time, 400 years they say, when God was silent. Then He sent Jesus. Do you think He was just hanging around twiddling His thumbs? Nope. He was up to something. I take great comfort in believing that in our waiting, when God seems silent, He’s up to something big. He’s got a plan. His timing is not our timing. We just have to wait for it. We have to wait for Him.
We wait for something every day. We wait for the call. We wait for the paycheck. We wait in line at the grocery store. We wait for bedtime or we wait for the coffee to finish brewing. Persevering is more than just waiting. It’s waiting for something big to change. Waiting for a marriage to heal. Waiting for our prodigal to return. Waiting for the treatment to work. Waiting through years of infertility. Waiting for the ultrasound to find out if the baby is still growing. Waiting for our soldier to come home safely.
As I think about things that have helped me persevere in challenging times, one of the main things is music. Music connects my heart to God’s like nothing else does. I hope these songs can bring you comfort and hope as you wait and move forward. As you persevere.
Be Okay With Not Being Okay
Be honest with yourself. It’s okay to not be okay. Give yourself grace even if others don’t. Take the time you need to do the work you need to do. You are worth it. And I don’t say that in a cultural entitlement kind of way. It’s not like “you deserve a king-size Reese’s peanut butter cup” kind of worth it. You are worth it in a way that you deserve to be healthy. You deserve to be whole. You deserve to take the time to get where you need to go. You will get there. One day, you will be okay. Just maybe not right now.
Jason Gray, Not Right Now
Friendships are crucial. I can’t imagine walking through my waiting times alone. I’ve been so incredibly blessed to have a small handful of friends camp out in my waiting rooms with me. One friend calls it her “holy honor” to be an encourager and a listener to my story. I love that. I love her.
We simply aren’t meant to do all of this life business on our own. The good, the bad and the ugly. We need some people. Let me add that we need good people. Any ol’ Joe may know how to put a door back up, but we need someone who will lovingly and skillfully help us put it back on properly. Someone with the right toolbox. Get Some Help to Put the Door Back On
Sara Groves, Blest Be the Tie
Often, in our waiting times, we get busy. Too busy. “If Satan can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.” (Adrian Rogers) Jesus rested. He retreated. He got away to work things out. He knew how important it was to get away to recharge. He also knew about this waiting business. He was waiting to die. God knew the importance of rest. He even created the sun and the moon to separate the day and the night to help us out. We need to take a break. We need not work so hard. We are wearing ourselves out – even while we wait. Then when “it” gets here, we’ll probably be too exhausted to enjoy it or even notice.
Andrew Peterson, Rest Easy
Stay and Move
Have you ever thought about how you can stay and move at the same time? We need to still our bodies, We need to be physically committed to staying in it. Friends, there’s so much bravery in the staying. While we wait, in our persevering (waiting with forward motion), we can simultaneously rest and run. Rest in Him and run towards Him. Sure, it goes against the laws of physics but… God.
Lauren Daigle, My Revival
Raise Your Hands
This TED Talk (although it has nothing to do with spiritual matters) describes how our posture changes our mood. I found it very interesting when I think about how my posture can change my perspective. What if just by raising our hands, we could actually feel better? Imagine what might happen if we raised our hands for 2 minutes as well as lifted our hearts? Our situation may not change. We may still have to wait. But at least we can feel better while we’re waiting. In the TED Talk, Amy Cuddy says, “Tiny tweaks lead to big changes.” Raise your hands and wait for it. Wait for Him.
Waiting is a period of learning. The longer we wait, the more we hear about him for whom we are waiting. ~Henri Nouwen
In our waiting, may we continue to learn more of Him? Hear more about Him. Maybe we persevere with hope and a song.
Wait for Him. He’s worth the wait.