Tuesday, April 5, 2016

When you need a billboard or a bluebird

A time crunch hit me this week as several things happened in addition to trying to get another book proposal ready to go out the door. Finally pressed send yesterday. So, I'm reaching into the archives this morning, and I thought this post about perseverance might be helpful. I know it's a message I need to hear often. Hope it helps you, too, friends.
Early in the morning, I sat down at my dining room table to read.

Through the window, the bluebirds nesting in the box fluttered in and out taking care of their brood. I ignorantly put up a bluebird box in the front and back yard not realizing until later the size of this property only supports one box (the birds can fight over territory in too small a space), but I have nesters back and front. I guess their need for a home has overshadowed their lack of neighborliness.
As I picked up a devotional to read, I felt weary. Circumstances had continued to mount and added to an unrelenting attack from that voice that brings discouragement.

Sometimes we allow the negative voice to become the loudest one in our heads.

I had let my guard down, and hated to admit it, but I was starting to believe that voice a bit.

I read the verses from Isaiah 40 listed for the day. The theme for the week was “Our weakness and God’s strength.” I sure related to the weakness part.

“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

I experienced what’s often call a God moment. A rhema word—it was persevere.

I turned to another devotion.

The verse?

“Therefore, strengthen your listless hands and your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but be healed” (Heb 12:12-13). 

Again a word about God bringing healing to the weak and faltering.

I flipped to a guide I’d been using as a resource in praying for others to find Christ. 

The theme continued, and I don’t know if I could have intentionally strung together verses and readings, which spoke more directly to my circumstances, but this one even included the sentence, “Lord, help me persevere.”

I pondered the words as the bluebirds sat on a utility line a short distance from the house. One thing I’ve come to observe about them is how fiercely they carry out their duties. I’ve seen them repeatedly attack squirrels to divert them from the nest. They do not flag in their zeal, often raising two broods in a season.

Finally, I removed the bookmark from this book, and read again the story of persistence about the paralytic being lowered through the roof to see Jesus. Osteen says, “You are closest to your victory when you face the greatest opposition.

The words from James that I'd been memorizing came to mind, "Let perseverance finish its work . . ."

It’s as if God had rented a billboard, put my name on it, and said, “Don’t’ miss this. PERSEVERE.” 

More flapping outside, and I’m not sure, but a Bluebird may have winked at me.

If you’ve found yourselves in a firestorm in some endeavor, I don’t know what victory would look like for you, but please remember, victory is coming.

Here's your billboard: "Persevere. Persevere. Persevere."

As you do, don’t be surprised at an approving flash of blue in the wind.

Laura Hilton reviews Home to Currahee on her blog. Click here to read. Many thanks to Laura for taking the time to review.


Anonymous said...

I really appreciate this post Bev. As I come into my last year of seminary, I find it is a real challenge to stay motivated--especially in subjects I don't like (math, English Lit). I'm wondering what will come next as I move out of studying and back into the working world. I fear that all this time and money and effort will be for naught and I'll just wind up in a job that has nothing to do with my education. Perseverance is exactly the word I need right now. Thanks--love and blessings, Beth.

Beverly Varnado said...

A quote from John Greenleaf Whittier comes to mind. Something about "The steps of faith fall on the seeming void, and find the Rock beneath." That's what you have and are doing Beth. It's Peter looking at the water and daring to take a step onto it. And I know when this chapter segues into the next, you will still have the courage you need to do whatever it takes to go with God. Believing in His plan for your life. Much love, Bev

pvmanns said...

Hi Bev,
What a reminder! Lately, I've been distracted by a "little fox." God gave me this word for this year, and your post is definitely for me. Thanks again for your sensitive spirit.

pvmanns said...

Hi Bev,
What a reminder! Lately, I've been distracted by a "little fox." God gave me this word for this year, and your post is definitely for me. Thanks again for your sensitive spirit.

Beverly Varnado said...

You have such an amazing writing gift, Patricia. Persevere and only heaven will tell of all that God did through it. Love you.

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