“May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.”
Colossians 1: 11-12
We all face times in life when we feel overwhelmed. Our To Do List is too long. Or the people who are closest to us are creating stress instead of making our lives easier. Or we feel that the problems that we are facing are too big to handle. Everyone has such moments at one time or another. That is an unavoidable part of life. What successful people do in those times is to persevere. They plow through when it all seems too much, and they come out blessed on the other side.
I love the metaphor of “plowing.” That is exactly what we are called to do sometimes. We are called to plow through our troubles. We are called to plow through the day when life isn’t going according to plan. We are called to plow through that stack of responsibilities that seems two stories tall.
Think of someone plowing a field. They are pushing aside the excess dirt and rocks to create a place where they can plant seeds. When we plow through tough times, we are doing the same. We are getting rid of projects, stress and problems. What is left behind is a place in which good things can grow. If you don’t plow, you are left with untilled earth. You have soil, but it hasn’t been prepared for planting. You can’t do anything with it. Likewise, if you don’t persevere, while you may have skills, you haven’t created the right environment for those skills to blossom into success.
The ability to persevere is what allows some people to achieve success in spite of their obstacles. Think about Abraham Lincoln. He had so many setbacks and yet he achieved great success. He went from having a failing business to being defeated multiple times when running for public office to eventually becoming one of the greatest, if not the greatest, president we’ve ever had. His life exemplifies the power of perseverance.
Significantly, the time that we spend persevering isn’t wasted time. The experience changes us fundamentally. If you have been dealt blows and had disappointments, you will be more compassionate toward others who are suffering. If you have faced your challenges head on and come out successfully, you will have greater self-confidence than you would otherwise. And if you’ve known what it is like to be hurt or to fail, and you’ve had to turn to God and say, “Help me,” you will be more faithful. Having those kinds of personality traits will make you a better leader. You will be more effective in your work. And you undoubtedly will have better relationships.
Don’t allow life’s setbacks to get the better of you. Persevere. If you do, you will come out better than you were before. You will gain experience, humility and decency. God then can use those qualities to have you do greater things with your life and be His representative on earth.
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