In lieu of the wildfires in Oregon and Washington, this writer asks What Gives You Perseverance?

To persevere, one must be able to look forward and see new possibilities.

As Robert Strand, author of a devotional series titled, “Nine Fruits of the Spirit” said, “The ‘fruit’ of the Spirit is a composite description of what the Christian lifestyle and character traits are all about–an unbroken whole.”  In Gal. 5:22-23, 25 we read, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. …If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

Long-suffering is another term for perseverance and it is married nicely to patience.  For it is much easier to have patience if you can say to yourself, “This is only right now; and it will not be forever.”  This is a very similar statement that you can say to yourself, “There will always be tomorrow.”  And if you just lost everything in the wild fires, then you can say to yourself, “There will always be tomorrow and from here, things can only get better; since I’m at the bottom, everything is up…and only improvements are up.”

How do we teach this to our children?  First with the words we use at home.  Second with our optimistic attitude.  Third, and perhaps most importantly, with praise.  “Thank you for helping me, Sally.”  “I love the way you’re really pitching in to help.  And your help really makes a difference!  Everything goes easier and faster when we all work together.  Don’t you think so?”

In the Bible Studies series published by Life Guide, Adele A. Calhoun and Tracey Bianchi write in ‘Women & Identity’, “Often we lament that life feels fractured or broken.  It seems a bit lacking compared to the images portrayed in our culture or the life we imagine our neighbors have.  Airbrushed images of success–like the perfect career, body, family, boyfriend or husband, or home–can make us feel empty or isolated, somehow less than full.  Romans 12 debunks the myth that life can be found through achieving, accumulating and aspiring.  Paul invites us toward a transformed life in the presence of a God worthy of our love and devotion.”  Women in the Bible, (like “Sarai, Ruth, Gagar, Naomi, Hanna”, etc.) learned “in the crucible of hardships that…They maneuvered their way through challenges such as slavery, infertility, gendercide, polygamy, death, and poverty, and found God never forgot them.”

Today we have sunshine and the blue skies have returned.  Even in the darkest times, it is important to remember there will always be a tomorrow.  I often tell my children, this is only for today.  It is the same with work, there will always be a tomorrow; so there is no need to overwork if the deadline is not today. It is important to pace ourselves and take good care of you.  By taking care of ourselves, we can be there for others also.  Be patient.  We persevere for our children and our grandchildren.

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