So anyone who has seen a recent picture of me may have noticed that I’m looking a little different. After the great haircut massacre of May 2017, I decided that it is time to start wearing my hair a little longer. Right now, we are in the “growing out” stage, and yes, I am aware that it isn’t necessarily pretty.
I mean, it’s not that I’m not trying—-and if you’ve seen a picture, it was taken on a day where I tried really hard to manage what I can only describe now as an awkward stage. Believe me when I say that there are many days where I look in the mirror and think, “‘Des, this is not your most attractive look, why are you putting yourself through this?”
The answer is simply that I have a goal: I have pictures on my phone of where I want to be, I’ve talked it over with my stylist who has assured me that if I will just stick with the process and fight through this funky stage that in 6 months I will be pleased with the results. Believing her promise, I have committed to seeing this process through to the end. (Even on the days when I just throw my hands up in the air and say, “Oh well, you tried.”
Because the truth is that whether it be trying to grow out your hair after having them very short for a decade or reaching a goal in your life, change doesn’t just magically happy.
Instead, getting from Point A to Point B usually involves a commitment to a process that isn’t always pretty, isn’t always pleasant, and definitely isn’t always fun. Yet, the only way to get where you want to go is by faithfully enduring the process, keeping your commitment, and some days just resisting the urge to turn back and quit.
Trust me—-way before I faced this traumatic experience (insert seriously sarcastic eye roll) of letting my hair grow, I learned this lesson while dealing with some truly traumatic circumstances in my life.
It was then that I learned that whether your desire is to reach a goal, grow in your faith, overcome the issues of your past, conquer generational iniquities or find healing in your life, a key element is perseverance.
What is perseverance? Hanging on—-continuing to do what you know you need to do—-even when every part of your heart, mind, and body is saying, “Why don’t we just quit?”
One of my favorite verses is Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Look at the Message Version: “So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit.”
It seems like a simple sentence doesn’t it? Yet it is often so hard to do.
Especially when the task is harder than letting your hair look a little whackadoo, but the challenge is to…
….Not quit counseling
….Not walk away from a difficult relationship
….Keep taking that class that seems so difficult
….Maintaining your commitment to paying down your debt when money is beyond tight.
….Not quitting the accountability group the Holy Spirit is using to heal your heart.
….Or one of the other millions of truly difficult situations that require perseverance if we ever really want to reach out goals.
Over the years one thing I have learned is that when quitting seems so much easier, these are the moments when we need to ask ourselves, “What do I really want?”
Deep down, beyond the inconvenience, beyond all of the pain and struggle, what do I want?
Who do you want to be?
What do you want to experience in your life?
What is the goal?
That’s where you need to fix your eyes.
Because the truth is that in the moment quitting may be easier. You may even gain temporary relief from the struggle.
However, the Bible makes it clear: We will only reap a harvest if we don’t quit.
When we realize this truth, the real question becomes clear: Do I want the desire of my heart enough to continue the struggle?
Do I want to reach my goal more than I want to be comfortable?
Here’s a good question to ask yourself: Can I keep my commitment for just one more day?
You see one thing that I’ve learned in life is that the desire to quit is usually temporary. In the heat of the moment, when we’re tired, overwhelmed, and just overwrought, we convince ourselves that we simply cannot go on.
And yet, I’ve found that if we can avoid quitting in that moment, the next day our desire to quit will fade or at least be equaled by our will to reach our goal.
And remember: even when you believe you can’t go on, you can. Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.”
This includes avoiding the urge to quit and persevering through the struggle, through the trial, and staying on the road that leads to the amazing promise God has for your life.
So today I encourage you, "Don't quit!!!" Keep doing what you know God wants you to do. In the end when you've reached your goal---we'll rejoice together!
We Have a Whole Chapter About Perseverance in Finding Healing,