So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out." Genesis 6:13,14
From early morning until nearly midnight on Saturday, I was blessed to watch, help and cheer on my dear friend, Sherry, who was participating in her first Ironman distance triathlon. Throughout the day, as her daughter and I waited at each checkpoint for her to pass, we enthusiastically clapped for and shouted encouraging words to the rest of the participants knowing that they needed to be cheered on as well. And as you can imagine, after the 2.4 mile swim and 112 mile bike ride, the athletes needed a bit more encouragement to complete the last portion, a 26.2 mile run. So, as an older woman with a determined but pained look passed by I said, "You look great!" To which she smiled and replied, "I know you're lying but I'll take it anyways." "Oh no! I mean it," I said. "You look great because you're still moving in the right direction. Don't give up." And you know what? She didn't. She pressed on, slowly but surely, and finished with eight minutes to spare. How's that for dogged determination?
You know, that unrelenting firmness of purpose or resolution is the same type of determination it takes for you and me to heed and fulfill God's calling in the midst of obstacles and fatigue as well. Noah discovered that after being assigned the huge task to, "make yourself an ark of cypress wood." And while no one knows for sure exactly how long it took to build that boat big enough to hold two of every kind of animal, most experts agree that it was about 70 years. Can you imagine going to work day after day, in every condition, no matter who tired you were, for 25,550 days? But that's just what he did. Noah never gave up. He built the boat, accomplished the mission God called him to, and was rewarded for his hard work.
Perhaps you're facing a daunting mission, responsibility or burden today and feel like giving up? All I can say is don't! Keep pressing on. Keep moving forward, putting one foot in front of the other. But, most importantly, keep looking up. That, my friend, is where you will find the encouragement and strength to complete any job God has called you to do or endure any situation He has called you to go through.
Heavenly Father, thank you for those examples of perseverance and determination that you have given us in your Word. Help us to realize that Noah and the heroes of the faith listed in Hebrews 11 were no different than us. They were all weak until you made them strong and downcast until you gave them hope. Help us to be like them, determined to press on until the end. It's in your precious name we pray Jesus. Amen.
Hard Love - Needtobreathe
|Sherry, her daughter Shelby, and me|