Friday, January 13, 2012

Looking for Endurance

“…for you have need of endurance…”  (Hebrews 10:35, CLNT)

“For I am reckoning that the sufferings of the current era do not deserve the glory about to be revealed for us.  For the premonition of the creation is awaiting the unveiling of the sons of God.  For to vanity was the creation subjected, not voluntarily, but because of Him Who subjects it, in expectation that the creation itself, also, shall be freed from the slavery of corruption into the glorious freedom of the children of God.  For we are aware that the entire creation is groaning and travailing together until now.  Yet not only so, but we ourselves also, who have the firstfruit of the spirit, we ourselves also, are groaning in ourselves, awaiting the sonship, the deliverance of our body.  For to expectation were we saved.  Now expectation, being observed, is not expectation, for what anyone is observing, why is he expecting it also?  Now, if we are expecting what we are not observing, we are awaiting it with endurance.  (Romans 8:22-25, CLNT)

Early this week, as I read Romans 8, the Lord reminded me (again!) that I was in need of endurance.  As I wrote these words in my journal, “And so, I see clearly I am in *GREAT* need of endurance!” a familiar chord sounded within me.  Didn’t I recall that the Lord had reminded me of that not so long ago?  Or was I imagining it?... 

No, I wasn’t imagining it.  The Lord was repeating the truth to me.  He had been speaking those same words to me back in October.  But back in October, November, and December I was not allowing myself much time to listen and ponder the promptings of the Lord because of the crazy busyness of the craft show season.  I had so much to do and prepare to be ready for each show I was committed to participating in.  I despise such busyness.  Why I do these craft shows will be the subject of another post in the future.  It’s not for making money; that’s for sure.

This past weekend, I had an opportunity to revisit my journal from exactly a year ago.  And to my surprise, what did I find?  It sounded just like my writings of this month.  I was writing and groaning and complaining about the same things I have been frustrated about all of 2011 and at the start of this 2012 year!  At that moment, it hit me that I had to change something

I cannot change others, and I am not in control of the circumstances around me, but I can do something to change or control my own actions. 

Saturday, I realized that I must make a commitment to force myself to do things which I enjoy and which remind me that I am ALIVE and that my presence in this world does matter and make a difference.  I spend practically all of my time, each and every day, doing for my family, my home, and for others.  This easily happens in the life of a homeschooling mom, whom I am.  I spend most of my time taking care of the needs of others or being in charge of necessary responsibilities.  Emotionally and personally speaking, I have allowed myself to become unhealthy as I have given every last drop of me for the sake of our home and our family.  I have abandoned taking care of who I am and seeking some of the things which I desperately need. 

(Here’s a perfect example: Even as I type this up, I am abruptly reminded that I must calculate, file, and pay sales taxes for my craft business.  They are due in a week.  Yuck!)

What makes my situation even worse is the resentment I started feeling towards others for observing them doing the things they find pleasurable and fun.  I ask myself, “How can they spend so much free time doing what they want to do, while I work and work, and work some more?”  I realize how off balance my life has been.  Often I have expressed to the Lord that I have this great dis-ease in my soul.  Certainly, it must be the diseases of “Out of Control Busyness” and “Too much work and no play”.

I have felt an utter desperation for serious and immediate change, for more intimate spiritual relationships with others, and for living life to the fullest.  Over the past year, my endurance to persevere ahead in some of the more trying circumstances has practically been lost.


“And so, I see clearly I am in *GREAT* need of endurance!”

How many of us out there are groaning in longing and desperately wanting to be observing our expectations of what God will be doing in the future? 

My heart longs for things which I know are not attainable in this earthly life.  The spirit within me looks ahead in anticipation of what is to come.

“For I am reckoning that the sufferings of the current era do not deserve the glory about to be revealed for us.  For the premonition of the creation is awaiting the unveiling of the sons of God.  For to vanity was the creation subjected, not voluntarily, but because of Him Who subjects it, in expectation that the creation itself, also, shall be freed from the slavery of corruption into the glorious freedom of the children of God.  For we are aware that the entire creation is groaning and travailing together until now.  Yet not only so, but we ourselves also, who have the firstfruit of the spirit, we ourselves also, are groaning in ourselves, awaiting the sonship, the deliverance of our body.  For to expectation were we saved.  Now expectation, being observed, is not expectation, for what anyone is observing, why is he expecting it also?  Now, if we are expecting what we are not observing, we are awaiting it with endurance.  (Romans 8:22-25)

These verses say we are to wait in expectation of what God will be doing in the future.  The verses tell us that we must wait in expectation and with endurance.  “For to expectation were we saved.”

Just before the Romans 8:22-25 verses, Paul says to the believers in Christ Jesus:

“For I am reckoning that the sufferings of the current era do not serve the glory about to be revealed for us.”  (Romans 8:18)

The sufferings of this current era we live in are not even worthy of the immense glory which God has in store ahead and for which we wait in expectation with endurance.

The word “endurance” literally means “to remain under”.  We are called to remain under the ups and downs, the fun times and the working times, the joys and sufferings, and victories and trials which are all part of this earthly life.  We are called to remain under them, waiting in expectation for the great glory ahead which is not being observed in the present.

As I examined my life and took inventory of what has been missing and how to get back to the things I take pleasure in doing, the Lord reminded me of the walks that we used to take together.  Tuesday, I was inspired into action.  I grabbed my iPod, put on warm clothes and a warm hat, and went out for a walk.  I updated my Facebook status to say, “I think I’ll go for a power walk with my iPod.”  What I really meant was this: “I think I’ll go for an empowerment walk with my Lord and my iPod.”  The power I looked for had nothing to do with how fast or how hard I walked or how many calories I burned.  The power I hoped and looked for was from heaven above.  I urgently needed His power to fill me that I may be able to continue to endure through whatever each day ahead held in my life.

I went on this very long walk and listened to music that inspires me and reminds me of exactly Who God is, Who He is in my life and in this world, and how He is over all things and involved in every aspect of my struggles, my joys, my emotions, and all the circumstances of life.  Through the beauty of His creation around me and before me and through the music, the Lord spoke to me, and I spoke to Him.  As I walked, I wanted to dance, to lift my hands in the air and praise Him, and to sing at the top of my lungs.  It was as if I had not been able to breathe before and had been dying while living.  But suddenly, it was as if I was receiving a fresh dose of oxygen from above and being revived.  As I walked with Him, I was inspired, energized, and given additional strength to endure.  It was such a wonderful experience that I had a hard time heading back home to the reality of the things waiting to be done.  Yet, I knew that I had been filled with renewed energy and perseverance and that the tasks awaiting me would not feel as heavy as they had before.




Through that experience, I realized the most important and primary thing which I have neglected for myself on a regular basis throughout the past year.  It is that special time with my Lord Christ Jesus and my Father God.  Without being filled by them, I may as well be dead.  As I allow any work, busyness, or life’s circumstances to rob me of setting aside special time for the Lord to minister to my soul, I begin to wilt, suffocate, and die.  The Lord IS the living water that brings real life, abundant life.  This is not the first time I’ve learned this lesson, and I’m convinced it won’t be the last.  Earthly life and all that goes with it has a resilient tendency to pull us away from the spiritual realm, which is not as humanly tangible.  It is unfortunate, but it is an earthly reality.  Every day, the constant pull is there.

I was repeatedly reminded in the last few months that I was in need of endurance.  My Father God and my Lord Jesus Christ are my endurance.  That is where endurance is to be found.

“…we may be glorying also in afflictions, having perceived that affliction is producing endurance, yet endurance testedness, yet testedness expectation.  Now expectation is not mortifying, seeing that the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the holy spirit which is being given to us…”  (Romans 5:3-5)

“…the spirit is also aiding our infirmity, for what we should be praying for, to accord with what must be, we are not aware, but the spirit itself is pleading for us with inarticulate groanings.  Now He Who is searching the hearts is aware what is the disposition of the spirit, for in accord with God is it pleading for the saints.”  (Romans 8:26-27)

Daily, I was crying to the Lord about the abundance of difficult circumstances and begging Him to change them—to do something and do it now.  The spirit was aiding my infirmities by praying in accordance with what was best.  God’s answer to me was:

“…God shall be filling your every need in accord with His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 4:19)

I am grateful. 

When we are empty, He fills us. 

When we are weary, He strenthens us. 

When we feel like we can’t face another difficulty, He takes us by the hand and says, “Trust me.” 

When we don’t know what to do, He says, “I do.”

When we don’t know how we’ll go on, He says, “I’m carrying you on.”

When we are weak, He empowers us.


By His super exceeding grace,
Mary Ann


1 comment:

Thank you for reading and for your comment. *All* spam will be promptly deleted, so do not waste your time or mine.