The Stuff of Life

Christian Devotions: Perseverance Pays Off

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I spent last fall oscillating between wanting to grab my son by the shoulders and tell him to toughen up, and wanting to pull him into a bear hug and just let him quit.  Perseverence Pays Off,  published at Christian Devotions, was written after we successfully navigated a few challenging months together. Maybe you can relate.

Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:4

“Terrible.” It was always the same short monotone answer to my nightly question, “How’d practice go?”

He wanted to quit. His well-intending coach was gruff and barked orders reminiscent of a drill sergeant. It was difficult for me to watch as my son got an earful each time he made a mistake, his tender heart deeply affected by a harshly stated word.

Letting him quit would have been the easy choice…the quick fix. It would have relieved both of us from a lot of stress. But the quick fix is rarely the right choice. And I know that growth comes out of trial. So I encouraged him with loving words even as my heart ached for him. I could not change his coach’s demeanor, but I could fill my son up with love and encouraging words from home as I helped him push through.

I don’t ever want to work so hard to protect my child from all difficult circumstances that, as a grown man, he will be ill-equipped to handle adversity. So we persisted through that long season together. And though he looked forward to the day he could turn in his uniform, I knew this grueling time period would play a role in developing his character.

James encouraged us with his words: Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Quitting isn’t always the best answer. James reminded us that by finishing the work, we’d grow and mature. He, like Paul, persevered through the rough spots and as a result, taught those he came in contact with, with great experience.

I doubt my son will take part in that sport again, but I saw a hint of his perseverance paying off when during one of his last weeks of practice, he walked through the door and said, “Tonight was sorta okay.” Sorta okay…such a nondescript statement. But to this mama those words said, “Hey mom, I’m working through this. I may not love it, but I’m gonna make it. I’m persevering.”

Maybe you are going through a challenging season in life and you just want to quit. Persevering isn’t easy, but the blessings of maturity and the completeness God promises as a result, are well worth the effort, even when it means enduring a gruff coach. Stick to the task and trust God to grow you through the experience.

Devotion posted by permission of Christian Devotions Ministries who had first rights to the devo. If you are looking for a quick online daily devo be sure to check out Christian Devotions. A new one is posted every morning.

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Author: Kim Harms

I am the wife of a guitar-playing, worship-leading, adventure-loving husband. I am the mother of three incredible sons: two of whom recently surpassed me in height, and one of whom I am going to pretend is still my baby. I am saved by grace; a daughter of the King who was and is and is to come. *** I am a regular contributor at Today’s Christian Woman, a monthly blogger at Inspire a Fire and have freelanced for a variety of publications including Chicken Soup for the Soul and Guideposts. *** The 500 Dresses ministry that I started with my mom in 2010 is our way of answering the call to serve those in poverty.

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