Don't Give Up
When I woke up that morning, thick grey clouds filled the skies. Rain pelted down hard and fast. Oh dear, I thought to myself. Not the right day to do my grocery shopping. The thing was… that I’d finally found the ideal day for that weekly chore. Having a set day for it made life much simpler. But returning home with a soggy mess of shopping bags wasn’t an exciting prospect. I checked the weather report. Not good! Plenty of rain was promised Adelaide – all day long. Hmm… Perhaps I should go tomorrow?
Two hours later I looked out. Glistening rain drops hung on leaves, but the sky's tears had finally stopped falling. A faint hint of sunshine lit the skies. Perhaps it wasn’t a bad day for my shopping after all. I went back to plan A. And marched forth (or rather drove forth) to the 'village'. Hours later, I emerged with a bulging trolley. My smile widened as I saw that the expected rain was still playing truant. I walked to my car, and unloaded my nice, dry shopping bags into its boot. Cold winds tugged my clothes playfully. I was so glad that I’d ventured out against the weather report’s advice. It was the right day to get my shopping done after all.
It reminded me of the simple truth about life and discouragement; about continuing to continue; about persevering against the odds. Often in life, circumstances change and make me pause to reconsider my plans. Take my job hunt for instance. A few years ago, after many long years of job hunting and 15 years of volunteer work, I found my ideal job. I loved it. I thrived in it. I found I was using my God given skills. I felt His deep pleasure. But then… surprise surprise… I lost the job in 8 months. Shock. Grief. Change. Thankfully, I can laugh about it now. That’s life isn’t it?
I've been job hunting for over 12 months but the prospects aren’t looking good. For one thing, my qualifications are old and outdated. The job I’m looking for is not in the field I'd trained for in my youth. I do have skills but few paper qualifications. I am “old” by a job hunter’s standards – too old for the job market. The vista ahead looks far from promising. Some weeks ago, I pricked up my ears about a possible job. It was something I could do. And one where I’d bless the world. Sadly, the weeks have passed by and I haven’t been called for an interview. Hope beckoned again when I came across an online writing job. I can write, can’t I? I put my best foot forward. But guess what? I failed the assessment. Sigh. Yes, I was very disheartened.
One day I took my Bible and my morning cuppa and went into our guest room. I don’t usually have my Quiet time in there. But it was Saturday. My husband was playing lively music in the family room. So this was the right place that day for some quiet. I sat at the desk which holds my son’s books and belongings, when a little plaque caught my eye.
Don’t ever give up on your dreams
I know you’re going to make it. It may take time and hard work,
You may become frustrated, and at times you’ll feel like giving up.
Sometimes, you may wonder if it’s really worth it.
But I have confidence in you,
And I know you’ll make it if you try.
The thing was that I don’t usually sit in that chair. I’d have missed reading it. That day however, exactly when I needed it, it stared me in the face. A gentle nudge from God Himself to remind me to persevere.
What is it that you find hard-going right now? Your job? Your marriage? Your health? A new goal? Dreams for the future? Whatever it is, please don’t give up. If God has called you to it – He will make a way. So change into your swim-wear and run into the ocean. Splash gleefully in the waves. Plunge yourself into plenty of hard work, bathed in prayer. Soon you’ll be pleased as punch that you didn’t give up. Persistence and perseverance are vital compasses with which to navigate life’s obstacle course. That's what I think.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:10