Endurance to the Finish
So today I read a curious verse in James 1:4, "And let endurance have its perfect result." I took pause when I read this and asked the Lord, "What is the perfect result? It does not really say explicitly."
Finally, as I sat in my little hut and listened, I got the answer. The perfect result will be that I finish the race of this Christian life. I recognized that the endurance is to keep on going. Yes, we know there is a finish line but unlike other races we don’t know exactly how long it will take to get there. Then I was reminded of the great cloud of witnesses who already crossed it, cheering us on. What a vision as they say, "Cari, there is a finish: keep on keepin' on."
Endurance for me is not a sprint run. It is the long haul. Some can sprint like the wind but few can actually run a marathon. It is continuing on even when there is fog, rain, mud puddles, jeers from the sidelines saying you stupid Christian. When I’m so tired I just want to sit down and cry, when it is just plain dark and I can’t seem to see very well, when others take a detour and I’m not allowed to, when I feel completely alone and the only voice is the still small one, keep going! And then those glorious moments when we see our pals running too and we get deeply encouraged.
I realized endurance is not a crowded path but it is a perfectly designed path by God because it pushes me beyond me. It pushes me beyond my own patience; it seems dauntingly SLOW. But muscles of endurance get built up from movement; a daily pace that is constant, making sure for myself that I don’t let the muscle get atrophied because I decide that today I’m going to just stop and take a breather.
Sometimes I wonder each day as I get up and spend time with God, Lord are you doing anything? Today I realized, yes, endurance. Not necessarily noticeable but happening with the movement of the Christian life: steady, slow, deliberate, and at the pace perfectly designed by Jesus for my life. I know when we cross the finish line, the joy will be so tremendous that we will completely forget what it took to get there, we will just know IT WAS WORTH IT!!!