Endurance

Today my inbox contained an email that contained a graphic with the word, Endurance.

I contemplated it for a minute and then was off to the next email.

Later in the day a good friend left a comment on Facebook with a scripture verse.  It’s from a book in the Bible I memorized when I was a senior in high school.  But, as I was uncertain with the direction for this Joy Day! post I decided to plug the ‘address’ into Bible Gateway and see how it reads in different translations.  (I memorized it in the Living Bible.)  It was there that the word endurance popped out at me, again.

Do you believe in coincidences?  I prefer to think of them as God moments.  To me those coincidences are reminders of God’s hand at work in my life.  Ever notice how those coincidences are little tools of his to get our attention?  He’s pretty clever that way.  Yes?

 

Endurance : the definition :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

Have you ever given much thought to the word endurance?  

Usually I think about it in the realm of sports.  Especially in terms of running a race like a triathlon or marathon.  But, really, these past seven months I’ve been learning about endurance…in a different way.  Waiting.

You see, in our culture, we’re supposed to strive to make our way to the top.  We are do-it-yourselfers.  Whenever something is awry and needs to be fixed in any way….we fix it.  And yes, I’m a fixer.  I know how to make things happen.  I try to fix things, events, relationships, you name it.  As good as all that is, sometimes it’s not God’s way.

These verses came mind:

…let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.  Hebrews 12:1b-2a NLT

As I meditated on these verses I became acutely aware that my fixing, my striving, is a weight.  It ‘trips’ me up from running with endurance.  When we run with endurance we keep moving, we don’t stop.  My striving causes me to slow down…even stop.

Paul (the one who penned the verses above) was pretty specific about what gives us the capacity to endure; keeping our eyes on Jesus.  We know that.  We get that.   No questions here.  Though often we are not faithful to do just that.  We let other things get in the way.

 

 ...let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.  Hebrews 12:1b :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

Jesus has already finished the race.  He is the champion!

It’s the next bit in the verse that is the tell all.  It’s the part I have been missing.  It tells us who Jesus is.

You know who Jesus is.  He’s God’s Son, he’s our Redeemer, our Savior.  What am I getting at here?

Paul says that Jesus is the champion.

We are in a race where the champion has already been declared.

Jesus, the champion, is the one who initiates and perfects our faith.

He’s the one who sets the race for us and he’s the one who gives us everything we need to endure the race.  And he declares it finished when he decides.

 

What does that mean for you and me in real life?

This race of endurance is about trusting God…not ourselves.  It’s about moving one foot in front of the other…uphill, downhill, and on the flats.  Regardless of the weather.  We can’t stop and cry and moan when it gets hard.  (Yeah…I know!)  We must keep our eyes on Jesus.   He will give us everything we need to press on.  But, he can’t if we won’t let him.

A few weeks ago I had an Ah Ha moment in thinking about the disciple Peter walking on the water.  In order for good ol Pete to do his water walking he had to keep his eyes on Jesus.  If he thought about how deep the sea was, what a good swimmer he was, how fierce the wind was, he was sunk, literally.  But, with his eyes fixed on Jesus….he was an extraordinary water walker.  He could do something no one else could do.

There is really only one thing you and I can do that will help us run this race called life with endurance.

We must keep our eyes on Jesus.

That’s it!

 

Endurance is Fixing our eyes on Jesus:: Flower Garden :: :AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

How do we run this race well?

It’s not about have the coolest running clothes, or working out at the gym to make ourselves strong, or even eating a nutritionally perfect diet.  That stuff is all about us.  As good as all that stuff is, it draws our eyes away from Jesus to ourselves.  And we delude ourselves into thinking that any one of these things, if we do it well, will help us run the race faster, stronger, longer.  But that’s a big fat lie.  From you know where.

It’s about fixing our eyes on Jesus….filling up with his word, listening to him, talking with him, letting him fill us, energize us, sustain us, encourage us.  It’s willfully putting one foot in front of the other believing that we live and breathe and move totally at his will, and he provides everything we need to endure this race.

What was the verse my friend shared with me?  I thought you’d never ask.

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  James 1:2-3 NLT

 

 

Joy Day! :: Endurance :: Counting Gifts :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

It’s Joy Day!

The day when we count it all joy.  The day when we give thanks in all things.

Will you join me in looking over the past week and counting your blessings?

 

I’ll start….

I’m grateful for:

    1. the testing of my faith so my endurance has a chance to grow.
    2. there to be no parade of strangers checking out my house.
    3. cooler weather so we could work outside more comfortably.
    4. the little things that we no longer take for granted.
    5. a moving date.
    6. a friend who “runs” with me.
    7. a faithful Abba Father who is my strength and provider.

 Now…it’s your turn!

Take a few moments to count ‘seven’ from your week and tap them into the “Share Your Thoughts” space below.  Want even more joy?  Take the Joy Dare here.

 

Final thoughts about this race…

I’m not a runner.  Never have been and I don’t plan to start now.  Walker?  Bicyclist?  Yes.   However, I live with a runner turned walker.  He tells me that both running uphill and downhill are difficult….the flats are the easiest.  But, the muscles and lungs don’t strengthen as much on the flats as they do on the hills.

We’ve been running in the mountains.  It’s been hard.  No striving on our part makes a job happen.  For a few weeks God graciously allowed us to run on the flats….we were able to catch our breath.  And then as we came around the bend, the road rose sharply in front of us.  We are feeling the burn.  We need more stamina to push through this part of the run.  One thing we know….we can’t put one foot in front of the other in our own strength.  We must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus in order to have the endurance required for this race.

Have you ever noticed that when runners run together the run is easier?

As we fix our eyes on Jesus, we must, absolutely must intercede/pray for each other.  We must give each other words of encouragement.  We must run together…not alone.

Let’s join hands to run this race together.

Thank you for your prayers.  And let me know how to pray for you.

 

Running an Extraordinary race with you!

Diane

p.s. Yesterday’s post was fraught with technical issues.  After more than 100 of you had read the post, I learned that the comments had automatically been turned off.  If you had wanted to comment, please feel free to do that today as I have fixed the issue.  Also, if you want to know more about this uphill race…I share a little more of it there. 

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Comments

  1. I came into the “Joy Dare” late, but I’m catching up a little at a time. :O)
    LuAnn Braley recently posted..My Bestest Buddy and Her PapawMy Profile

  2. Endurance…..I agree so much with your post, and have found myself looking at this word at different times in my life, with different perspectives. Just yesterday, I was with my cousins, as they made a tough decision for their sister which was carry out her final wishes, and I set with them as the vent. was removed and we now wait for Gods perfect timing to take her home to be with him. Endurance to face the hard things with strength, and knowing you are not alone!!!! Seven things that I am grateful for: 1. Cooler weather which has made it much nicer to be outside to do some needed yardwork. 2. My daughter who went with me yesterday to the hospital. 3. I was able to be there for Kathy and Carolyn and Donna as decisions were made. 4. Only a few days an my son, daughter-in-love, and granddaughter will be here from Florida. 5. Quiet Sundays, with a breeze, and birds singing out my window. 6.The smell of coffee.7. House is cleaned and ready for company this week.

    • Oh Renee….you have had difficult week. Isn’t it so good to be able to lean hard on Jesus through the challenges?
      Thank you for taking time to share your ‘seven’ too. God’s blessings in the everyday. His goodness is evident in all we do.
      May joy and peace be yours in abundance in this new week.
      Blessings!
      ~Dinae

  3. Laurie G. says:

    1. Watching my three kids teach at VBS this week.
    2. A job after being off work for 17 1/2 years to be home with my children.
    3. A family vacation we have been planning for 3 years finally happening.
    4. A 14 year old friend of the family free of cancer.
    5. My wonderful husband who celebrated his birthday this week.
    6. Supportive family and friends praying for me during job interviews.
    7. That I get to go to an awesome church this morning to praise God!

    God bless you Diane. You have help me look at life differently. Your wonderful, faithful attitude is a blessing.

  4. As I read through your ‘seven’ Laurie, my heart swelled at seeing God’s hand of blessing on your life. I rejoice with you in your blessings!! Thank you too for your lovely words of kindness and affirmation. :)
    Best wishes at your new job!
    ~Diane

  5. Well said, Diane…..

  6. I’ve written and lost many of my responses! I like joy.
    Jesus. Something about saying His name. When I’m recovering my husband will softly say Jesus and I’m soothed
    Friends bring dinner every other day
    Kind concern from others
    Time
    Church time in my livingroom. With my neighbor. I’m still too weak to go out and rarely go to church anyway for the movements and noise bothers me so much
    The Bible
    I miss my mom. I’m too frail to go to her and she’s too frail to come here. Soon Lord??

    • Dear sweet Gwen…
      When I lived in Indiana, I lived near the Gaithers, where their music was very popular. Here are the lyrics to “There’s Something About That Name.”
      Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
      There’s just something about that Name.
      Master, Savior, Jesus,
      Like the fragrance after the rain.

      Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
      Let all heaven and earth proclaim,
      Kings and kingdoms will pass away,
      But there’s something about that Name. (Gaither Vocal Band)

      I agree, there is something about HIS name…

      Praying that today, Jesus fills your heart with JOY, strengthens and heals you so that you can make a trip to see your mom.
      [[hugs]]
      ~Diane

  7. I find great joy that others are comforted and cared about and prayed for as they visit here.
    I celebrate, joyfully, that Gwen is surrounded by love today…and I pray in thankfulness.
    I have joy because I am loved hugely …simply because I am a child of G-d….no strings attached.
    I find joy in the wonder of this morning’s sunrise and this evening’s sunset.
    I have great joy when laughter greets me as I muddle through some irritating moments.
    That gift of “perspective” that comes when “stuff” becomes “right sized” brings me joy…many thanks to you and those who visit here.
    And I am joyful that I “get” to pray for others…..that I can set ME aside to do that.
    *sending prayers and positive thoughts*
    Perseverance…endurance…. Keeping my eyes on the wonders of G-d….
    *huge hugs!*

    • I rejoice with you Mel in the joys of our heavenly Father. He is so good. And he has blessed us with this sweet community of joy sharers.
      Thank you for being a big part of that blessing.
      [hugs]

  8. I prayed for you last night and again this morning. God will reward your faithful endurance. You are an inspiration to so many. My thankful seven are:
    1. A garden ready to burst with bountiful food for me to freeze and can
    2. Much needed rain
    3. Having my daughter home for the summer
    4. God’s faithfulness in bringing my husband back to work and getting training for the last piece of equipment there so he will be less likely to be laid off in the future.
    5. A part time job for me to help me pay down some debts
    6. Children who all follow the Lord
    7. Summer!

    Hugs,
    Deborah
    Deborah recently posted..Paper Flowers TutorialMy Profile

    • How kind of you to pray, Deborah. Especially as you are so busy. Thank you so much!!!!!
      Your ‘seven’ joys are so wonderful. God is blessing you richly. :) I rejoice with you in his goodness and favor.
      I look forward to posts showing your garden’s bounty. ;)
      May your days be filled with JOY!!
      ~Diane

  9. Sometimes I lack the endurance to keep running, but just when I feel like giving up, I get a burst of the Holy Spirit to energize me!

    Today, I am thankful for:
    1. God’s continued provision throughout my husband’s unemployment.
    2. For having my homeschool year pretty much planned out.
    3. For the gift of 8 boxes of curriculum to sell from a friend, of which I get to keep much of the proceeds!
    4. For the gentle ways He corrects me.
    5. For the 7.5 lbs. lost in my new lifestyle.

    Blessings!
    Barbie recently posted..2013-2014 Curriculum Choices – 8th Grade (Revised)My Profile

    • Barbie, I love it when we know that the energy doesn’t come in our own power, but HIS!
      Thanks for taking time to share ‘seven’ this week, Barbie!
      Look at God’s wonderful provision for you!! I know he sometimes allows us to go right to the edge…but always…if we let him…he makes a way.
      Praising God with you for his goodness! :)
      May your week be filled with HIS JOY!!

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