Some of my most memorable winter outdoor experiences come from the lake. As a young adult I spent more time fishing than hunting. And as I have mentioned before, there was no boat, just hip boots. It was cold only if the fish were not biting. Those days were about persevering; persevering through the weather and through the lull of inactivity until the fish decided to feed. The gulls always gave away where the fish were hiding. If they began to fly above a certain area, you knew the minnows were being pushed to the top by feeding fish that were below them and that would be the best time and place to cast your bait. There were many days we caught more than our share and a few that we came home empty-handed. The days when the gulls never flew, only gave us hope for the next day if we could just persevere.
When I think of persevering I think of emotionless persistence. I think of someone who keeps going through all kinds of circumstances because he or she knows the preferred outcome is at the end of the way. He does not keep going because he feels like it or because the conditions are always favorable but because he knows that he is on the right path and the reward is worth his resolute effort. What he does not know however, is the time it may take for his perseverance to turn into his prize.
Some of you have been persevering for a long time. You have been chasing a goal or dream that you are sure is just around the corner. Right now however you are doubting that it will ever be realized. You are tired from the work and the wait. You perhaps look at your advancing age or even those times in the past that you have failed. All of these push back against your perseverance. What do you do? First of all, check the source of your dream. Make sure that it is lined up with God’s purpose for your life. God is the designer of dreams. He has made you to be fulfilled in life but sometimes our dreams must be gently put back on His course. Secondly, check your motives. Why do you want to accomplish your goal? Is it for selfish reasons or purposes only? Is it for your own edification? The right motive is…. so that others may see God through your accomplishments and so that you may be able to spread the good news of God. Lastly, realize that many times the greater the purpose the longer the preparation.
Friend, when your dreams are aligned with God’s purpose and your motive is to give God the glory, He will not only give you the strength to keep going, but also His peace that will carry you through even the most difficult times.