Endurance and Encouragement
by Jan Powell
“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus”
(Romans 15:4-5, ESV).
“The journey is not simply the destination—no, the journey is also the wilderness.” Lou Kaloger
Rough times at home and work can seem like a wilderness, marked by isolation, a sense of failure, and often opposition. Our goal is not to set up camp there and wallow in discouragement. We must move on.
Endurance and encouragement. These gifts from God connect in an ongoing circle of cause and effect which enables us to live in harmony with one another.
My college phys ed teacher told me I ran funny. Not words offering encouragement. But, in my thirties—a long time ago—I jogged my first Gasparilla 5K.
Alone in the middle of thousands of runners, I heaved and sweated like a real runner. Not being a true athlete, I slowed. A kid came up beside me and paced me. I say kid, because through my huffing and puffing, I asked how old she was.
“I’ll run with you,” the tween said. She added, “You’re doing pretty good.”
Aren’t kids taught not to lie?
“You’ll make it,” she promised.
Back then, I was thirty-five pounds lighter and thirty-five years younger. I still felt awkward beside her effortless strides, but I pressed on with my funny gait alongside this girl who chose to stay and encourage me.
I gasped and waved her on. “I’m fine. You can go.”
But she didn’t.
Several times, she said, “We’ll cross the finish line together.”
And we did.
Her presence strengthened my performance. Her words and actions enabled me to do better than I would have done alone.
We can come alongside our writing companions and help them keep going and complete their races. God’s words infuse us with gifts of endurance and encouragement to share with others. Let’s lift up the fainthearted, share wisdom in the face of obstacles, and move through the wilderness together for the prize at the end.
Father, show us how to share our stamina and hope with others. Amen.
Jan Powell, a graduate of the University of South Florida has two small businesses. Through Writing with You, she offers writing services: editing, rewriting, coaching and ghost writing for fiction and non-fiction. She loves to help polish manuscripts for others. She has been published in The Wordsmith Journal and Splickety Magazine.