“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1 NIV
Deanna, my spouse and partner, had knee replacement surgery some months ago and was required to attend rehabilitation. I was invited (for a small fee) to participate with her. Now I am not an exercise aficionado. In fact, exercise is, if not on the bottom of my priority list of things to do, it is very close. However, I have noticed as I get older that “things” don’t work as well as they used to and some parts don’t seem to work at all. So maybe some time of working out would benefit this old man.
I was assigned a regimen of exercise by a very nice young man (less than one half my age – thank you!). But I quickly learned that doing the exercises once is not the problem. I sat down the first day and breezed through the bike, arm bike, elliptical, treadmill, etc., and had a fleeting thought that this was a snap – maybe I was in better shape than I thought! I quickly learned that real results were determined after consistent time put in.
Greg Asimakoupoulos tells of a commuter flight from Portland, Maine, to Boston. The pilot, Henry Dempsey, heard an unusual noise near the rear of the small aircraft. He turned the controls over to his co-pilot and went back to investigate.
As he reached the tail section, the plane hit an air pocket, and Dempsey was tossed against the rear door. He quickly discovered the source of the mysterious noise. The rear door had not been properly latched prior to takeoff, and it flew open. He was instantly sucked out of the jet.
The co-pilot, seeing the red light that indicated an open door, radioed the nearest airport, requesting permission to make an emergency landing. He also reported that the pilot had fallen out of the plane, and he requested a helicopter search of that area of the ocean.
After the plane landed, they found Henry Dempsey – holding onto the outdoor ladder of the aircraft. Somehow, he had caught the ladder, held on for ten minutes as the plane flew 200 mph at an altitude of 4,000 feet, and then, at landing, kept his head from hitting the runway. It took airport personnel several minutes to pry Dempsey’s fingers from the ladder.
“Things in life may feel turbulent,” said Asimakoupoulos, “and you may not feel like holding on. But have you considered the alternative?”
We must never forget that the word “persevere” comes from the prefix “per”, meaning through, coupled with the word “severe”. It means to keep pressing on, trusting God, looking up, doing our duty – even through severe circumstances. (Robert J. Morgan)
As I had to learn to do those physical exercises on a regular basis – I had to be persistent, at least three days per week, our walk with the Lord is no different. Results are determined by persevering over time. God wants us to run through the tape – to finish what He has given us, His hands and feet to do.
Prayer: O Holy Father, our prayer this New Year, 2018, is that we continue through your strength and presence to press on to complete the tasks you have given each of us to do. May we not take our eyes off of You. Amen
Fred Dyer, Pastor
Trinity Baptist Church