On Perseverance: Something I Didn't Used to Know Much About and Still Don't
Man, I used to have so much energy. So much of it. (I know, yes, I'm in my twenties still, so I can't really complain that much. Just some.)
In the past year or two I've compared myself more and more to how I used to be. Because I used to have so much energy. Joy. Unbridled passion. Lack of fear. Daring faith. Willing to risk. And even just direction and understanding on knowing WHAT I would want to risk for.
And I'm not saying that all of that is gone. Some of it remains. But looking back I can see...
I was a good starter. And I still am. You know, "starters." They start stuff and have trouble finishing it.
Because they find something else to start.
The quintessence of Sarah right there.
I was even reading an Enneagram type (cause somehow I'm late getting on the Enneagram train), and there's a whole type that talks about starters. Type 7. The Enthusiast. Yep. I'm pretty enthused.
So here are the good parts about being a 7. (Click here for the Enneagram test I took.)
You know, pretty hype. Take risks. Yep. Varied interests. Check.
And then here are the tricky parts:
Yep. A starter. Not specializing. Loving ideas so much that it's hard to do them.
So looking at these descriptions, though...
And then considering how I feel a bit disconnected from this amazingly-enthused starter-esque person that I feel like I used to be
And am wondering what happened to her...
I'm just now realizing that maybe it's not that I've lost her...
But that I've gained something that Enneagram Type 7 Sarah couldn't give me.
To have the satisfaction of seeing some of the things that I start
Go through to the finish.
So isn't that worth it? Isn't it worth it to let God develop perseverance in me?
Yes I can still be excited.
But also determined.
But also willing to continue.
But also willing to risk. And weigh risk. And choose risks that sometimes look more like "keep going" than "move on."
The "keep going" type of risks are the ones that are more challenging for my personality type. Unknown territory.
"Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." (James 1:4)
"Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way."
So I don't know what area of your life right now God is calling you to persevere in. It might be a new battle. Or it might be an ongoing one. Almost a far-too-long-going one.
But trust that perseverance is doing its work.
There's a you that will come out of this perseverance that wouldn't have come otherwise.
There's a result that will come out of this that wouldn't come otherwise.
I've been thinking about money a stupid lot lately. Because, you know, you gotta make it. Figure out how to get it. I guess.
And I just today was thanking God for my money needs. (I mean, I'm not saying that I'd like them to stick around forever, I would like to see turnaround in this area, but...) They have kept me so close and reliant on Him. More so than if I could just provide for everything on my own. My need allows Him to surprise me with His provision. My need is a reminder that He's right there, willing to answer.
The question is, will I bring Him into it and trust Him for it? Will I give Him this part of me?
Thank you, Jesus, that you give me opportunities to persevere in trust in You. Thank you, Jesus, that you're about developing my character on the way to reaching the goals you've given me. Thank you, Jesus, that life is a PROCESS, not an immediate win all of the time. As hard as that can be. Thank You.
Thank You that You're developing perseverance in me.
And that, because I'm You're child, there's nothing that You'll let harm me beyond what's healthy for me. That You've anointed my trials to develop my perseverance.
I pray He'd give us the strength. That He'd give us the joy. That He'd help us celebrate Him abundantly. That our hearts and trust-buckets (you know, that part of us that is filled up with trust in Him) would be FULL TO THE BRIM.
So that we can do what He's called us to do. And stick by His side through it all.