Learn the value of persevering with renewed purpose.
Have you ever felt like quitting your job, abandoning a dream or ending a relationship? You are not alone. Most of us have felt this way more than once. It also happens in our faith walk. Unanswered prayers or unexpected events in our life can cause us to feel depleted, discouraged or disappointed, with little energy to move forward.
Several years ago my friend, Pastor Richard, was discouraged early in his ministry. He had been working long, hard hours at the church that he and his wife started. He took on the responsibilities of visiting the sick, counseling couples, serving as social worker and preparing sermons, while carrying the spiritual weight for the success of the ministry. The load left him emotionally drained and physically exhausted.
One evening while watching a New York Yankees game with his 12-year-old daughter, he asked her, “Do you think I should quit being pastor of the church?” After a long pause, she turned to him with tears in her eyes and said, “Don’t quit... just start over.”
Pastor Rich was deeply moved. The phrase just start over encouraged him. It was the message he needed to hear from the person he least expected. Good news…today Pastor Rich continues serving his congregation with enthusiasm and joy! He learned the value of persevering with renewed purpose.
Starting over might mean taking a step back to consider the work that has been done or to acquire a fresh perspective. It might require spiritual or physical rest. Adjusting our expectations or changing our attitude might be necessary.
On the surface it might appear that quitting is the answer when we’re worn out. It’s definitely easier than to keep going, but the blessings only come when we persevere with God’s help, pray and don’t give up.
Over the years, Paul’s word to the Galatians has encouraged me and so many others, “Let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessings if we don’t get discouraged and give up.”
Lord, get me through my discouragement. Help me to start over with an open heart and mind, believing that in due season I will reap the blessings of my commitment and labor.