Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Stick With It! Be Faithful!

There is something to be said for faithfulness, isn't there?  It sure isn't always easy to remain faithful, but in due time we see how truly beneficial and right, faithfulness is.  "Stick with it--you'll get it!"  "If at first you don't succeed:  try, try again!"  "Practice makes perfect!"  All of these are common sayings that most of us have heard growing up.  In fact, as a mom, I've used these occasionally with my children.  Most often, I use these if I note any type of discouragement in my children about something complex they're trying to achieve or something new they're trying to learn.  We all need to be reminded to "stick with it" from time to time!

I could relay a thousand examples of times Ron or I have encouraged our children to keep working at not give up.  I can look back and see how much progress has been made in certain areas.  I can also get a glimpse, so to speak, of the future in many of these same areas; I can see that progress and growth will undoubtedly continue.  

I think of my second grader who has made such progress on his reading.  He was behind when he tested at the end of last year.  I'm not positive that he's exactly where he is supposed to be, but I've seen leaps and bounds in his reading this year.  This definitely is not because I'm a fantastic home school teacher!  This is simply because he has been faithful to continue trying and I've remained faithful in reading with him daily (even when it was on the verge of being downright frustrating).  He continues to make progress.  More importantly, he is learning the value of faithfulness and a stick-with-it attitude!  

I think of my six year old and how he's become such a little builder and creator (much like his father and his older brother).  He used to get out his Lego sets and end up in tears or worse--complete meltdowns--because he couldn't figure them out on his own.  He wanted to tackle the projects, just as his brother was doing, but he definitely needed guidance and help.  We were continually encouraging him to take his time, ask for help, and keep trying.  "You'll get it," we would tell him.  He may have felt utter frustration at times, but he never stopped trying.  Just tonight, he came downstairs shortly before bedtime with a set of Lego's and stated that he was going to create this new Lego man out of this bag full of Lego's.  Darned if he didn't do it without fits!  He was creative and patient.  He has really come a long way!  We see a good deal of artistic and creative gifts in him, so it is delightful to see him making progress in this area.

I think about certain areas in my own life when faithfulness has been the only way, even when met with frustration, discouragement, or adversity.  I'm learning that God rewards faithfulness.  Again, this is not because we deserve any kind of pat on the back for a job well done.  This is simply because faithfulness is an attribute of God and when we learn to function in faithfulness, we are becoming more like Him, and He is pleased!  The reward may likely come in a renewed sense of hope in our own lives.

I had a moment in time recently when I realized that my faithfulness in a certain area--to something I believe very strongly that I am supposed to do--is getting ready to work on my behalf.  I have not done anything great.  I have only remained faithful to that which was mine to do.  I've remained faithful in the face of many doubts, questions, and some frustrations.  I have remained faithful because for quite a while that was absolutely the only thing that I knew to do.  Now, I am beginning to see a light!  I know beyond all doubts that I've faced, that this light is only here because of two reasons:  God is faithful and good, and I have learned to be faithful in this area.  There's a well-known Bible story of a servant who was given some responsibility and proved his faithfulness.  "His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant.  You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much.  Enter into the joy of your master.' " (Matthew 25:23)  Oh, the joy!  I want to enter into the joy, don't you?  The joy of something great accomplished through God's divine help.  The joy of rest after completing your task.  The joy of the One who knows every side of the story...the One who wrote the story!  The complete joy of our master!  That's what I want.

We all have things over which we're called to be faithful.  Most of us have people whom we are called to be faithful with.  Our children, for example:  we must remain faithful to love, train, teach, pray for, encourage, spend time with, protect, and discipline them despite opposition or discouragement.  We should remain faithful to our spouse or others who God has given us to have relationship with--to walk through this life with.  It's necessary to remain faithful to other things that we may not love doing...or even like doing.  And always, we should be faithful to the things that are so deep on the inside of us that we know if we don't do them we won't fully live.  We all have things that resonate on the inside of us continually and won't let us go.  We all have passions! If they are God-given passions, we must remain faithful to them despite all odds!  They are there for a divine purpose.  If we do not remain faithful, we will not fulfill all that God desires for us to do.  I can't fulfill yours and you can't fulfill mine.  God has written a script on the inside of our hearts--each one of us--and it's ours to live!  Be faithful!  Do not give up!  Stick with it!

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