Maybe you have loved ones you’ve been praying for and have been trying to show the love of Christ for years. And maybe their continual rejection of Him has you discouraged and wondering if you should even try to interest them in the gospel story again this year.
If that’s your situation—and I believe it is for many of you reading this—I have a two-word message for you: Perseverance pays.
In recent months, I’ve written about life’s tough times. I’ve said that God is always there, even in the midst of our trials, and that He can bring good out of even the worst of them. But, what if there are other people involved – people who caused our pain and heartache? Then, for the sake of all, and most especially ourselves, we need to learn to forgive. We simply will have no peace and healing until we do.
Let me tell you about a time when I had to forgive a terrible wound.
A year later, Julia found herself on an operating table once again. This time, a different doctor obtained a good result, and Julia regained her voice.
This doctor warned her, however, to take it easy for 10 days until he was sure her vocal cords were healed and her voice would stay strong; but Julia had other ideas. She decided that if there were any possibility her voice might disappear again, she was going to make the most of the time she had. So she started using her newfound voice as if there was no tomorrow.
As if all that weren’t enough, Jim also served his country honorably as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Kansas from 1996 to 2007.Jim also represented the U.S. in three Olympic games, winning a silver medal in the 1,500 meters (a distance known as the metric mile) in the 1968 games in Mexico City.
So, in a lifetime of career and personal highlights, on the track and in the Congress, what does Jim point to as the greatest moment of his life? Likely not what you’d expect. He identifies that moment as coming when he experienced probably the most spectacular failure of his running career.
The highways that lead into our often-visited tourist town of Branson, Missouri, are lined with huge, illuminated billboards that number literally in the hundreds. Numerous country music stars have elegant theaters here, each seating from hundreds of people. Fans travel to our town by the millions.
The billboards are part of a strategy marketing experts call “intercept marketing.” They’re intended to influence the plans of tourists who don’t have their vacation schedules finalized. I’m not sure how the tourists feel about the billboards. But to many of us who live here, the signs are flashy … glitzy … gaudy … and nauseating.
A platoon of Germans had made a run across a coiled barbed wire barrier to ambush their American enemies, but the raid was called off when heavy gunfire stopped them in their tracks. Several Germans died on the spot, and the rest retreated to their side of the barrier. One German soldier, however, took a hit in the shoulder, became tangled in the barbed wire, and lay there, helpless and screaming, in the no man’s land between the German and American lines.
His painful wails persisted until one brave, young American soldier stood and ran to the German’s rescue. As the GI removed his enemy from the entanglement, all gunfire stopped in grateful astonishment. The heroic American freed the wounded warrior and carried him to his friends at the German line. Without fear, he then turned and walked gallantly back to his foxhole.
Eventually the battle resumed. But on that one Christmas Day, for a brief, shining moment, two groups of soldiers saw what it meant to be willing to die for one’s enemy.
The Heart of A Mom is a free online resource destination created to encourage and inspire Moms of all ages as they pursue the most important role in their life—being a Mom. Created by Dr. Joe White, President of Kanakuk Ministries, Heart of A Mom hosts dozens of Gathering events across the United States each year, welcoming women from all walks of life to an event created especially to thank Moms for all they do.