Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Persevering


“What makes authentic disciples is not visions, ecstasies, biblical mastery of chapter and verse, or spectacular success in the ministry, but a capacity for faithfulness.”

Brennan Manning, Ragamuffin Gospel

It was a bad day.

There was a sick husband and daughter, a flat tire, a bill coming in twice as much as expected (and my initial estimate was already gagging me), an infestation of fruit fleas, a broken camera we've owned for only a month, lots of tears and angry words and a very bad reaction on my part.

After all that, I sat down to work on preparations for Bible study, hours later than planned, the bad feelings still simmering, irritated I had been pulled away from it so long. I cracked open our new study book and read:

Jeremiah 9:24
But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercises lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.


And the tears came. I'd exercised plenty of judgment, but not enough lovingkindness and righteousness. I tried, but I couldn't comprehend anything I read after those words.

Who am I to lead Bible study? I can't keep my own family happy. I'd written down verses on trust that very morning, but couldn't recall them throughout the day. I aggravated an already bad situation by thinking worldly instead of eternally. I completely messed things up. I'm no model Christian, no leader at all.

But God says in James 5:11, As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. Not those who have acted perfectly. Not those with spotless houses and saintly children and beautiful lesson plans for Bible study. Not those who have a Bible verse on the tip of their tongue for any and every situation.

Those who have persevered.

Since I'm kind of a wimp, my opportunities to persevere are plentiful. That verse gives me hope. It goes on to say, You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

If I hang in there, I can experience God's compassion and mercy. If I am faithful, I am a servant like Job or Abraham or Moses. Being faithful to Him this day meant making things right with my kids. It meant putting on heavenly eyes instead temporary ones. It required me to apologize even when I didn't feel like it. I am His authentic disciple not when I am perfect, but when I persevere through trials and remain faithful to Him.

Now it's YOUR turn. What are your thoughts? Link up here.







Photo Credit: gwen

7 comments:

mamas*little*treasures said...

Good morning Tami - thank you for hosting this week, and thank you for sharing from your heart. Sometimes it feels kind of risky to be honest in our posts, but I'm trying to not worry about that too much! I appreciate your honesty and openness today.

MiPa said...

Oh sweetie, I'm another wimp who gets lots of opportunities to practice perseverence. Some days, at the end of the day, the fact that he perseveres with me is all that keeps me hanging on. ((hugs))

This was a great quote, and I enjoyed pondering it and writing on it. Thanks for hosting.

Debbie said...

Perseverance; just what I needed to hear this morning! Tami, thank you this post. I used your quote but mine is so different. But ...isn't that great how we can each write from different perspectives? It gets my mind exercising!

Thank you Tami for hosting us this week on IOWT. You chose a great quote.

Brenda said...

I think I put my link where I was not supposed too. I'm sorry about that. You are just the one who needs to lead our Bible Study. We are not looking for someone who is perfect. We want someone like us who can share our burdens, encourage and lead. YOU are just the right one!

Karen said...

Very good Tami. It definitely comes out in our preservation to truly show us where we stand. We trip and we fall but we will endure if we keep getting up just one more time than we have fallen. Have a great day.

e-Mom said...

A good word! (My husband is much better at persevering than me. Maybe cause he's a man?) You go girl! :~D

Susan said...

Great word Tami!!

Sorry I didn't join you. I was very sick for 2 days.

Just coming around now.

Blessings my sweet friend♥