Behind every Olympian is the drive to persevere above all odds to get better, faster, to push themselves to the limit. So, a few weeks ago, as we entered the Georgia Tech Aquatics Center, the one which held the 1996 Summer Olympics and where numerous Olympians have since competed, my heart swelled with pride for my pre-teen daughter.
She made “the cut” and was entered into nine events (races) at the Georgia State Long Course Swim Meet. She was set to swim against kids her age who had worked hard and pushed themselves to their limit. They persevered above hundreds of others to be a part of a special, elite group.
It has since hit me how much we can learn from our up and coming generation about perseverance. We live in an age where they are said to lack motivation, drive, and spirit. But I see something different.
I see hard work. I see faith and the determination to keep going even when times get tough.
Perseverance means continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.
Did you catch that? Continued effort despite the possibility of the action being difficult, a failure, or facing opposition.
Truthfully, my daughter might never have made it to the state meet, considering that swimmers can be excluded if their time is off by even a one-hundredth of a second, but it wouldn’t have changed her drive. She would have kept pushing to try and make it into the next state meet, believing she would if she pressed on.
A question plagued me as I processed this. Do I have the same drive? Do I fight to push through when I’m up against opposition? Many times a day I tell myself I’m not capable. I’m not good enough. I’m not worthy to do the things God has asked me to do.
But Truth says we are. The Bible says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10 NIV).
God has created us to do the works He has already planned for us to do! If we have been diligent about seeking His will for us, then we already have the strength to complete the task at hand.
We just have to put in the hard work. We have to have faith. We have to push on despite the possibility of difficulties.
Like the hundreds of young people I saw warming up in the 1996 Olympic pool.
Let’s talk about this! Did anything stand out to you when you read Kristen’s post? As I read her account of her daughter’s drive, determination, and perseverance, I was encouraged to develop those same character traits in my life.
When things get tough, it’s tempting to retreat, but God wants us to push through, and each time we do, our inner strength and ability to persevere grows. James 1:4 says, “Let perseverance finish it’s work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (NIV).
What do you think it means to “let perseverance finish it’s work”?
Did you catch what the result is, when we do that? Maturity, then, comes, at least in part, when we persevere through the hard. I’d love to chat more about this post, the James 1:4 verse, and ways we can grow to “completeness, lacking nothing.” Join the conversation here in the comments below or on our Facebook page, because we can all learn from and encourage one another!
You may also enjoy:
Thinking Right When Things Go Wrong by John C. Hutchinson
God Meant it For Good by R. T. Kendall
Stuck in Haran Kevin Ibanaz, Sunrise Church