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Monday, January 23, 2012

Run with perseverance the race

by Nelson Roth
A year ago today my dad passed away – from this life to his eternal home in heaven.  The picture shown here, from fifty years ago, stirs a lot of memories of summer fishing vacations when my dad gave mom a break from the daily family cooking.

Dad was a farmer and an example for me of our writing topic for this month – perseverance.  Perseverance is one of the ten responses made by Nehemiah.  Perseverance, along with the other responses, make up The Nehemiah Response Coaching Model  that when applied helps us when we are in a transition – to get from where we are to where we want to go.

Lessons that I learned from my dad about the rare quality of perseverance line up with what Paul writes to us about in Hebrews chapter 12:1-3, where each of us are encouraged to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

Two areas stand out in my dad’s life that makes him a model for perseverance to me.  His steadiness and consistency as a Midwestern corn farmer for fifty years; and in the way he cared for mom when her health began to fail.

What was it that kept my dad going even after one or two years of poor crops due to lack of rain one year and then too much water the next?  How was he able to sacrifice everything personally and care for mom over her final years before failing health took her life?

Perseverance takes a long-term perspective. It focuses on the future, rather than the immediate. It goes beyond what is seen. Perseverance fixes its eyes on what is unseen.

My dad taught me perseverance by his patience and faithfulness.  In hard times, he kept believing and trusting.  He remained faithful, even when there were ample opportunities to give up.

In Galatians 6:9, Paul said, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

What is it that keeps you going in your difficult times?  How do you “not grow weary and lose heart” - Hebrews 12:3?

Here are three encouraging teaching points from the passage in Hebrews about how to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us”:

  • Draw inspiration from those who have gone before you.  “We’re surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses.”  Who can you look to for inspiration?
  • Be prepared for struggles along the way.  “Throw off everything that hinders.”
  • Focus your attention in the right place.  “Fixing our eyes on Jesus.”
Life is more like a marathon than a wind sprint.  How’s it going for you?  Are you running with perseverance the race marked out for you?

Feel free to leave a comment below.

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In my dad's memory, there is an album posted on my Facebook page.

2 comments:

  1. Really encouraging and very poignant at this time of year when life can become somewhat consuming.focus on god n his future for us.thank you for sharing.god bless you on this sad day for you

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  2. What great words about perseverance! It is more like a marathon and long term focused! Made me think of Hebrews 11- and how they all lived with hope that called for a long term perspective and required a lot of perseverance!!! So hard to wait in seeing some things that are not meant for us to see....YET!

    Honoring with you- your Dad and his example of perseverance! THANKS for sharing!

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