Hey dudes! It’s been awhile since my last post. I’m still up at Grace Adventures camp trying to do my best for the ministry. I’m not going to lie…God has really pushed me these last few weeks.
One of my first weeks at camp was staff training. During this training time, the staff were able to climb on top of a high ropes course. I don’t know if you dudes have been on one of these courses, but I’ll try to paint a picture in your head of what it looks like: so you’re up about 30 feet in the air with a harness that’s attached to a line above you, and part of the challenge is to walk across tight ropes, swing across hanging tires, climb across bouldering walls, and do a lot of really sketchy things.
Now for me, I was pretty cocky going into this challenge. I had my chest puffed up, my biceps were ripping out of my shirt, and I was not worried at all…and then I got up there.
I turned from a cocky idiot to a crying idiot as soon as I saw how high I was.
It took me awhile to get started across the course. My whole body was shaking. I thought I was going to go into shock and die. I really didn’t want to be up there, but I had no way down unless I completed the course.
So the lesson of this blog is, don’t go up on high ropes course. Amen. Hallelujah. Praise Him. Blog post over. You’re dismissed.
Nahh jk dudes.
In Luke 18 verses 1-8, Jesus tells a story of an old widow who is really annoying an unsaved judge because she wanted justice from her adversary. Like, she’s being real annoying. Kind of like kids. They’re cute and stuff, but they’re also annoying, (and if you have kids, lol have fun. I’ve got a few years before I’m walking in your shoes).
At one point the judge even says, “Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because of this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me.”
On a side note, this widow doesn’t sound like your average grandma. If a judge is afraid of the widow attacking him, she must be like some super grandma with biceps the size of pigs. Or maybe she just has a really mean purse that she hits people with. Or a cane- those hurt too.
The whole point of this parable was to show what it looks like to have perseverance.
The widow never gave up. She never stopped. She never quit.
Perseverance: steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
Perseverance is pushing on when times are tough. Perseverance is getting up when you get knocked down. Perseverance is never giving up. Perseverance is something Christians need to have today.
One of my first weeks at camp I had a 12 year old kid who was terrified of the rock wall. He looked up at it and wanted to run away. I asked him to give it a try and go half way, and despite his fear, he decided to climb on. Once he was on the wall he was a pretty slow climber. It took him awhile to get halfway. I yelled and told him that he could come down, but the kid didn’t want to. He kept on climbing. And to my amazement, he reached the top. When he came down he was so happy that he completed the rock wall. I asked him why he wasn’t afraid of the wall and he answered, “Oh I was afraid, but I knew that God was with me, so I really wasn’t afraid anymore.”
How many times have we looked at an obstacle and been afraid of it? How many times have we lived life in fear of challenges? With Jesus nothing is impossible. He’s got you.
This world is going to be throwing a lot of crap at Christians. But when times are tough, what are you going to do? You could complain, you could worry, you could feel ashamed for your beliefs, or you could understand that God’s got you. You could understand that God has always got you, and that He’s never going to leave you. When things aren’t going your way, when persecution arises, don’t give up on God.
Persevere through the storms of life knowing Jesus is guiding and directing your boat. He’s got you. You won’t sink.
Okay let’s do a sports analogy. Just for fun. Life will throw you some curve balls, and you can hit them, but it’s your choice whether you’ll be afraid of this challenge and give up, or give it a swing. Some of you will swing without having God with you, and the ball might fly a little. It might get grounded at 3rd base and you’re thrown out before you even round 1st. But if you know Jesus has your back, then you won’t worry about the challenge anymore, and you’ll hit a home run.
Keep pushing through life with Jesus by your side.
After my slight kid-like panic on top of the ropes course I realized something…I can’t do this by myself. I could not continue on that course by my own strength. I need God to help me through my difficult times. And when I stopped worrying, I had to move through the ropes course even though I wanted to give up. Don’t go through life thinking you can do it alone. And when you are pushing on through your challenges, don’t ever give up on God.
Persevere through the battle. Keep fighting the good fight. Jesus is on our side and He isn’t going to let us down.
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” (Romans 12:12 NIV)
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9 NIV)
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” ( James 1:12 NIV)
“And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.” (2 Thessalonians 3:13 NIV)
And I did finish the ropes course, although I was covered in sweat, and I nearly puked.
Love you dudes, but more importantly, Jesus loves you dudes. Follow us on Twitter: @notofthenorm, or like our Facebook page: Facebook.com/notofthenorm. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Love to hear from you dudes!