Stick To It!

I read some years ago about a grandmother who decided to start driving late in life. Having never driven before, she struggled to pass the prerequisite tests to secure her license. In fact, she failed the written test over 950 times before she finally passed it and was graciously given her license to drive. Though I’m not sure I’d want to meet this lady on a country road, I applaud her persistence.

The Apostle Paul challenged the Galatians not to grow weary in well-doing (Gal. 6.9), and that challenge is as appropriate for us as it was for them. As this COVID-19 crisis drags on, we can easily become discouraged and maybe even a bit depressed. This is the perfect moment for the devil to whisper in our ears to give up, throw in the towel, and let down our guard.

Americans these days have a real penchant for giving up. One of the largest organizations in the nation today is the proverbial Quitters Club. This unorganized club is composed of people who quit when they face a tough job, a difficult marriage, a challenging diagnosis, or a shameful failure. When the going gets tough, the quitters get going — somewhere else, that is.

While these last weeks have been challenging and might have made quitting more appealing than normal, I pray we’ll all avoid initiation into this infamous club. Instead, we ought to follow the example of Christ who remained faithful to the end. Hopefully, we have the worst of COVID-19 behind us and we can begin moving back to normalcy in the near future. Whether this is the case or not, may we remain persistent.

Persistence is one of the more mature spiritual disciplines and is usually hammered into our hearts through the school of hard knocks. As we deal with challenges, our persistence grows. Someone defined persistence as the hard work you do after you’re tired of doing the hard work you’ve already done. That sounds about right. Persistence is in its purest form when you no longer want to do it. My grandmother used to call it “stick-to-itiveness” and said you either have it or you don’t. If you do, thank the Lord; and if you don’t, ask Him for help in developing it because you’ll need it.

The best example of persistence is the Lord Himself. He’s persistent in His love even when we fail. He’s persistent in His guidance even when we grab the wheel and veer terribly off-course. He’s persistent in His friendship even when we have to scale seemingly insurmountable problems. One of my favorite attributes of God is His unflappable persistence.

As we continue to grapple with the reality of COVID-19, let’s stay persistent in doing the work of the Lord. Let’s keep on praying, worshipping, offering words of encouragement, and being faithful disciples regardless of the circumstance. If we do, we’ll honor the Lord and others may see something different about us which draws them to the Savior we serve!

The author may be contacted at simpletruth@mbcb.org.