Perseverance ~ a weapon in the face of opposition.
Many people wouldn’t know this but I’m not that athletic. Go ahead. Laugh. It’s a joke.
Seriously though, I’m not. And I’m not going to throw out some haughty excuse like I didn’t inherit that gene or that I’m too clumsy. Nope. I’m just lazy. So when I was standing in front of a climbing wall that seemed as high as a California Redwood, I panicked.
I panicked because I knew it would take strength and endurance that I had not trained for and never mind that I loathe heights. No seriously. It feels like everything will turn black any minute and I will descend to the ground rapidly to a horrifying death. It’s bad. Really bad. And not only did I have the physical test to battle but the storm brewing inside was just as loud too.
I can’t do this.
Everyone will be staring. I’ll look ridiculous and most definitely embarrass my family.
My hips are bad. Bursitis is screaming no.
You don’t even have tennis shoes on. It’s impossible.
I can’t do this. I’m not even trying. It will be fine.
Now you need to know this is the simmered down version. The real version sounded a lot worse with panic and a racing heart beat to match. And never mind that my entire family had the opportunity to try. Yep, all of us.
See I told you. California Redwood right? Anyways, it came my turn and I decided that it would be done. I made the choice that I would persevere in the face of self-doubt and screaming anxiety. I decided that overcoming this fear would be a great life lesson for my girls, for me. I made the decision to tackle this wall as any other wall in life, with prayer. I didn’t even care how crazy I sounded. And please, imagine that statement with a head sway and a finger snap. I needed Jesus and He was going to know it.
I was just at the top and I looked down. I had nothing left to give and panic set in. A swift girl came up on my side and said you can do it. I watched her reach the top and hit the bell. I cried out “please God help me make it to the top.” And guess what, He did. Descending the wall in tears, I knew what had just been done. Perseverance to smack the enemy in the face with and a win for the Jesus girls.
I’m not sure the wall you are facing in life but let me remind you of a man who persevered in the face of opposition to build a literal wall. Nehemiah. Remember him?
Yep. He’s the man who lead the way for a wall to be rebuilt in a miraculous amount of time. A wall that had already been destroyed once and a wall that had an enemy’s threat hurling at it all the day long. Teasing and taunting. Threats and attacks. And then, we read.
So we built the wall. And all the wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a mind to work. Nehemiah 4:6
Don’t you just love that? “So we built the wall.” You better believe they built the wall.
When our enemies heard that it was known to us and that God had frustrated their plan, we all returned to the wall, each to his work. From that day on, half of my servants worked on construction, and half held the spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail. And the leaders stood behind the whole house of Judah, who were building on the wall. Those who carried burdens were loaded in such a way that each labored on the work with one hand and held his weapon with the other. And each of the builders had his sword strapped at his side while he built. The man who sounded the trumpet was beside me. Nehemiah 4:15-18
Rebuilding that should have taken years and yet only took 52 days. Rebuilding that should have been impossible from the danger lurking, but God. A man who could have run in fear at the first whiff of opposition but stayed the course instead. A people who could have thrown their tools down and refused to be prepared to fight but instead, labored in one hand and held a weapon in the other. A God who could have turned his back but didn’t A God who is well pleased with perseverance.
Beloved, whatever is before you, whatever the opposition, persevere. God is our strength. Prayer is our weapon. Truth is our fuel. Trust is our stamina. God is faithful and He will meet you at the bottom to help you climb to the top, believe it.
Persevere in your faith.
Persevere in prayer.
Persevere in obedience.
We have a choice to make. A choice to not climb or to suit up and pray all the way to the top. What will it be? I can promise it’s always sweeter at the top when God has carried you there.
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14