"1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. " Hebrews 12:1-3
So...God has been teaching me about perseverance. Well, that's a little mild. God has been smacking me on the head and showing me just how little perseverance I have! And how my failure to follow through and complete things is starting to show up in my children. Ouch.....that hurts.
But it's a good hurt. It's the kind of hurt that you feel when you exercise and push yourself further than you thought you could, and even though it hurts, you know that because of that pain, you are growing stronger. It's the kind of hurt that we must experience if we are growing in our walk with Christ - or in any area of our life for that matter!
If we want to grow and mature, we have to face the pain of seeing our shortcomings for what they really are. We have to be willing to take a long look in the mirror, recognize the flaws, prioritize the work to be done and then get started. Of course, we can't change ourselves - any improvements we make are the result of God working in us through the Holy Spirit and us just keeping our 'self' out of the way. That's where I find I've really struggled. I'm OK with recognizing areas that need work. I'm full of great ideas for improving myself, my family, and my house. I'm enthusiastic about getting started! I'm excited about the results...until I take my eyes off Jesus and put them on me. Then I'm tired. I'm too busy. I have too many things that take priority. I just don't have enough time.
Of course, this ties in perfectly to what He has been showing me about His sovereignty. Because the end result is not dependent on my effort - He has already prepared good works in advance for me to do (Eph 2:10). He has already marked off the course for me. I just need to stay in the race.