In life I can get so tired of the process part of things and the in between. Like, Jesus how much longer am I gonna have to do this? Can you give me a timeline so I know when this season is going to end?
Then I saw a line somewhere on Instagram that said, Marriage takes endurance.
That really struck me. It struck me because I can easily think this waiting/limbo place is just a circumstantial phase and not an indispensible exercise. It so easy to think that while you’re waiting on something- a job, promotion, a move, an acceptance letter, or a relationship, that once you get the thing you won’t need to exercise yourself in endurance. Not so.
I’m going to need this skill, this muscle for the rest of my life. For finishing graduate school (pray for me), for building a rocking marriage, for raising Kingdom-chasing kids, for developing the fruit of the Spirit when people are jamming my buttons, when the enemy is whispering that things won’t change or get better, for sticking to God’s instructions when it looks like everything is falling apart, for birthing the thing God has entrusted me with when I can’t fathom how it will come about. I will continue to need endurance.
God is asking so much of me here and now, and as I am faithful the responsibility will only increase. I want to be a mother and wife. I want to impact culture. I want to empower women to lead whole lives. To be entrusted with those precious gifts and opportunities I need to be developed in some things. To steward those things well, I need to be developed in endurance, in the art of continuing.
Down the road, what will I have to draw on when my husband is being rude? I’ll need to continue in the things the Word commands (1Peter 3:1-6, Prov. 23:17-18). When my kid does not want to live holy? I’m going to have to persevere in love according to the Word (1Cor. 13). That process is much simpler with a backlog of employing endurance. It’s like muscle memory. Your spirit remembers the exercise and assumes the position; endurance feels familiar even if you’re a little rusty.
This faith walk is an exercise in endurance. Am you going to tap out when you’re over it? When you don’t want to do the right thing anymore? That’s what James says about the testing of your faith- it gives opportunity to grow, to develop in your endurance in the development of your character (James 1:2-4, Rom. 5:3). So when trials come, will you sink or swim, succumb or fight? The more you choose to sink your roots further down in Jesus, the more entrenched you become in that identity, the more Christ becomes more fully formed in you, the more you become that person that chooses to develop over folding (Col 2:7).
So if you’ve found yourself not wanting to go any longer or farther in something, hang in there. Learn endurance in your singleness, in your marriage, on your job, at school, with co-workers, family, or just the season you’ve found yourself in- strap up your boots, strengthen weak knees, and brace up tired hands. Stare at Jesus and run your race! (Heb. 12:1-2,12)
In this Christian life, endurance will never be obsolete. Never. In believing God for the unseen, healing, family’s salvation, financial breakthrough, you have great need for steadfast and patient endurance (Heb. 10:36, Romans 4:19-21). Where God is trying to bring you and me, we’re must have endurance, steadfastness, and patience (Heb. 6:12). And believe me, I know how endurance can tire you out and leave you feeling like you’ve got nothing left to give. But good news! You don’t have to do it alone or in your strength.
“For whatever was thus written in former days was written for our instruction, that by [our steadfast and patient] endurance and the encouragement [drawn] from the Scriptures we might hold fast to and cherish hope.
Now may the God Who gives the power of patient endurance (steadfastness) and Who supplies encouragement, grant you to live in such mutual harmony and such full sympathy with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus…”