How do we persevere like Jesus? We allow God to be our strength and do the impossible in and through us. Read more from my latest post for iBelieve.com.
“You’ve almost got it, Lily!” I cheered, putting on my best coaching face. “All you need to do is keep those feet together and remember to kick from the hips, OK?”
The 9-year-old watched as I demonstrated the butterfly kick one more time.
“Yeah! Got it, coach!” she shouted and smiled.
One, two, three deep breaths she took before pushing off the wall. But her enthusiasm and focus weren’t enough to correct her stroke. She was still kicking with her feet apart, and she knew it.
“Coach, I don’t think I’m cut out to swim butterfly. I’m just not any good at it, and it’s really, really hard,” she said after touching the wall.
“Oh, Lily, that’s not true. Your stroke is looking so much better than when you first joined the team,” I reassured her. “I know you’re going to be a great butterflyer someday. It’s just going to take a little bit of time, patience and perseverance,” I reassured her.
But my pep talk only made her brow furrow further.
Her frustration reminded me of the struggles I faced when I first learned how to swim. Let’s just say if you watched my swim lesson tapes, you’d never believe I was a record-setting sprinter in high school. As a matter of fact, I vividly remember my mom asking me if I was sure I wanted to join the swim team when I brought home the flyer in sixth grade.
I’m not a swimmer anymore, but if I’m honest, sometimes my disease makes me feel like I’m not cut out to be or do much of anything.
It’s hard to persevere when the task before us feels too great to overcome.
Maybe you’re in (or have been in) a situation where you want to throw in the towel. You’ve tried everything and you still haven’t been able to conquer the mountain that’s in front of you.
When we reach a crossroads in trials of endurance, we have a decision to make. Do we stay the course or do we let things go? Do we stand and fight or do we raise our white flag in surrender?
In these moments, our first step is to pray — to take our requests, thoughts and fears before God and ask Him to help us make sense of our situation. We can run to Him and know that we are heard and that He will speak to us, because, as Scripture tells us in Luke 11:9, when we faithfully ask for something in prayer, God promises He will answer. The response might not come overnight or be as clear as we want it to be, but I believe that the Holy Spirit does speak to us in a matter of time.
I don’t know what your situation is. Maybe you’re trying to be the light in a family of unbelievers. Maybe you’re working tirelessly to get that job you’ve always wanted. Maybe you’re longing to catch the attention of the cute guy at work or school. But whatever hard thing you’re facing, this I know for sure:
If God has called you to it, He will help you get through it.
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