Life is filled with ups and downs. There is always a new mountain to climb or a new challenge to face. However, when we feel that we’ve finally come to a puzzle too complex for us to solve, we panic and start to search. We search for new skills to develop. We look for new insight. We read books. We talk to friends and people we admire. This is oftentimes a good instinct. Seeking new solutions to old problems can be very beneficial. There are times however, when new skills aren’t the answer.
One letter collected together with others in the New Testament is known simply as The Letter To The Hebrews. It’s unknown author wrote to Christians facing persecution and intense adversity. In the latter portion of the letter he wrote a phrase that is often overlooked due to its simplicity, but its relevance makes it especially apropos today. The author pointed out to his readers, “for you have need of endurance…”(Hebrews 10:36).
Sometimes in life, you are doing the things you need to do. You are not off course, even though it may feel like it. There isn’t a new solution or approach that will wrap everything up in a nice neat package. Rather than wasting energy running around seeking new answers, we most need to endure. Stick to the course. Trust in the direction that we are going.
Endurance doesn’t call for making a new decision, just reaffirming one we have already made. When things don’t come together as quickly as we like, we start to get nervous. We felt sure that we needed to start this business, or that this relationship was a healthy one. But when the results we are hoping for are delayed, we are tempted to change course. Sometimes a course change is necessary, but more often endurance is called for. Henry Ford offered, “Unless you have courage, a courage that keeps you going, always going, no matter what happens, there is no certainty of success. It is really an endurance race.”
Endurance isn’t easy but it’s crucial to a life well-lived. May you know when to change and when to endure, and may you find strength in the waiting.