On Wednesday, October 14, 2020, I sat behind my desk in my study, wrestling with my thoughts Hmmm…What topic should I write this newsletter on? After wrestling for days, like a flash of lightning, the word endurance popped into my mind. Endurance! It is the power to withstand pain or hardships; the ability or strength to continue despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions. William Barclay said, “Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory.”
Let’s face it—All of us have experienced the uphill battles of life; and, some of you are dealing with them right now. Some of you are dealing with deep loneliness; some of you are dealing with aging (changes in your mind and body that you don’t quite understand); some of you are dealing with mental anguish because of COVID-19 and the uncertainty of the future; some of you, in your latter years, are still dealing with the residue from your childhood and teenage years; and, still there are others who are concerned for the wellbeing of your children and grandchildren.
Let me simply encourage you with these words:
And let us not be weary in welldoing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (Galatians 6:9)
There was a soldier on the battlefield who had grown tired and weary; he put his weapons down on the ground and fell to his knees. With the sound of bombs and explosive devices going off in the background, he wept, cried, and groaned, as he yelled, “Oh, God! Please help me!” It was at that moment that the soldier felt a light touch on his shoulder. When that hand touched his shoulder, he felt power, strength, and renewal that he had never felt before. That hand upon his shoulder is what gave him the endurance to keep going when he wanted to give up. When that soldier stood up and turned around, no one was behind him. He was still there, alone.
Like the young soldier, we all get tired and weary from the burdens that we have to bear. But let me encourage you to keep fighting; keep moving forward; keep pressing toward the mark of the high calling. It is only when we endure to the end that we can see that it was the footprints of the Divine leading us along those stony paths. And, it is only when we endure to the end of the race that we are able to taste the sweet fruit of victory that we all long for.
Grace & Peace;
Pastor Michael L. Sloan