When you’re one-and-a-half years old there are a few things you need to know.
Mom and dad are the boss.
Don’t flush things down the toilet.
Don’t eat the cat litter or the cat food or really anything that mom has not put on a plate and handed you to eat.
And this: It’s way more fun when your sisters are home from school.
My son has figured out that the secret to a happy day is not spending the day at home with mom all by his lonesome self.
This morning, my five-year-old tried to walk out the door to school and this baby boy grabbed a hold of her backpack, screaming, pulling her back away from the door and would not let go. Would. Not. I practically had to crowbar his hand off so she wouldn’t miss the bus.
Our conversations yesterday went like this:
Andrew at 10:00 a.m.: Bus?
Mom (that’s me): No, not yet. No Bus.
Andrew at 10:30 a.m.: Bus?
Mom: No. No bus. Not yet.
Andrew at 11:00, 11:15, and again at 11:30: Bus?
Mom: No, buddy. No bus.
Andrew every 5 minutes from 11:30 to 12:20: Bus, bus, bus, bus, bus, bus, bus, bus, bus, bus?
Mom: Nap time.
Andrew the moment I pick him up from his crib at 2:30 and then at 3:00 and 3:15 : Bus?
Mom: Almost, babe. So close.
Andrew at 3:25: Bus?
Mom: Yes. Bus. Absolutely. We will go get the girls from school now. It may be a bit early, but by golly we are driving to the school right this second.
Yes, dear one, shoes. Yes, we will load into the minivan and wait in the pick-up line and get our girls from school and then your day will be perfect.
You gotta love such focused determination and single-minded purpose!
In 2 Samuel, I read about a mighty warrior named Eleazer. The Philistines gathered for battle and Israel retreated. They took one look at the size and force of the enemy and ran away.
Eleazer didn’t, though.
He stayed right where he was…alone….and faced down the enemy.
Apparently, he ‘stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword.’ (2 Samuel 23:10 NIV).
Not only did he survive against impossible odds, he single-handedly won a victory for Israel that day: “The troops returned to Eleazar, but only to strip the dead” (2 Samuel 23:10 NIV).
One man fought back a horde with such determination that his hand had to be pried off his sword at the end of the battle.
Yes, by himself. He defeated the Philistine army on his own.
His fellow-soldiers slunk back after abandoning the battlefield, but they didn’t have anything to do. No enemies to fight off. No victory to win. All they did was pillage the dead bodies for weapons and armor.
You gotta love it, this focused determination and single-minded purpose.
Maybe you’re like me. Maybe you give up too easily.
If I were Andrew, I’d probably throw in the towel the first time I said, “bus?” and mom said, “No.”
I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t stand ground on the battlefield alone when all my fellow soldiers abandoned the field. And I probably wouldn’t slash at the enemy until my hand froze in place on the hilt of my sword.
But I should.
Because God calls us to supernatural courage and perseverance.
Sometimes we think His calling and His will means open doors and easy progress. We think if this is His plan, He’ll remove every obstacle, every difficulty, every enemy from our path.
And then, at the first obstacle, or when it gets hard or even uncomfortable, we question. Did you bring me here, God? Is this your plan, God? Are you really at work here?
It takes discernment, of course, to know that God has called you to this ministry, this relationship, this place, this job, this stance, this challenge. He’s brought you here and it’s hard. There are days when you’re weary. Maybe you want to give up.
When trouble comes, don’t question God, look to Him for help.
Go back to the calling. Remember what God said.
Then, knowing that God has brought you here, remember that He will bring you out. He will not abandon you. So, stand strong. Don’t abandon the battlefield.
Paul says it like this:
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58 ESV).
What is your favorite verse about perseverance?
Here are 35 Bible verses to read on perseverance and not giving up.
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.