“Success is waking up in the morning, whoever you are, however old or young, and bounding out of bed because there’s something out there that you love to do, that you believe in, that you’re good at – something that’s bigger than you are, and you can hardly wait to get at it again today.” Whit Hobbs, columnist
That is all well and good, except when it’s not. What about the mornings when you wake up and don’t want to get up at all? What about the mornings when you feel like giving up because of disappointment, adversity or sheer boredom? Maybe this morning was one of those mornings. It is wonderful to be at a place in life where you can make a living doing what you love to do, but encountering adversity and challenges is a given. It is vital to learn how to respond with the right attitude so you don’t give up when difficulties arise.
In any endeavor worthy of pursuit, challenges come. But sometimes blow after blow can cause the shock absorbers of your soul to wear out. When that happens, even a small thing can send you over the edge, making you want to give up. Quitting is not a good solution, because life goes on and you still need to get up in the morning, face another day and be there for the people in your life.
What you can do instead: Pace yourself, realizing that you need to be refreshed along the way to keep your perspective. When your perspective is right, then you are able to see that God is greater than any difficulty and He is with you mightily if you place your trust in Him. (See post: “How much of Your Life do you spend Waiting?”) Breakthrough can be just ahead. And think about it, what would life be like if Edison had given up before his invention of the lightbulb? He said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Someone has to persevere to accomplish anything worth accomplishing. It might as well be you.
Sometimes people respond to challenges by finding their comfort zone and staying there. At first glance, there is nothing wrong with that response. Everyone likes to be comfortable. But if you stop reaching out to others in need and try to make life revolve around your needs and comfort, stagnation and apathy can set in. Consider what God intends for you to do with your life.
Have you ever had an idea that won’t go away? My friend, Nadia, had such an idea about visiting a boy she had helped receive burn treatment who had returned to his village in the Carpathian Mountains in Ukraine. She went there and now has a ministry to the poorest villages in the Carpathians where she has seen many lives changed. She braves icy roads during the winter and opposition from local religious leaders to help the poor families living there because of her love for them.
Step out of your comfort zone and follow through on those ideas. Like Nadia, you will not regret it. Climbing doesn’t always have to look brave or monumental. It is often measured in small, seemingly insignificant decisions to persevere on a daily basis. The ability to move forward, no matter the obstacle, is possible through faith and love. “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) Faith motivated by love enables you to look adversity and apparent darkness in the face and move forward, knowing that breakthrough and victory is on the other side.
“Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 3:13-14)