Persevering by Tracy Williamson

 Do you ever find you're in a season of needing to press on when everything inside you wants to give up?  That's where I am at the moment and I felt it today as I walked in the woods.  The path was narrow and it was a struggle to walk without tripping and falling into the nettles either side.  I was looking so intently at where I needed to step that I almost missed seeing the beauty.  Through a gap in the trees was a carpet of bluebells.  Each flower on its own was so tiny, but their depth and purity of colour was transformational when together.  They were so beautiful and lifted my heart.  I had no camera with me but a friend was happy for me to use his pictures from a similar walk.

That was just a walk but it spoke to me of the whole journey of persevering.  When the going is hard its so easy for our gaze to become fixed on the problems rather than on the destination.  We can miss the bluebells when all we see are the nettles. But in Psalm 121 the Psalmist says: 'I lift my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.' 

The act of persevering is an act of lifting our eyes to a different view. Choosing to look beyond the weariness or difficulties to the beauty ahead. 

I've been struggling with my writing this year and sometimes all I can see is the effort of putting one word in front of another.  I've also been trying to make things work with my new hearing dog, Bailey who joined me in January.  He is lovely but has a problem behaviour which probably came about because of lockdown.  I need to look up to what God is doing in Bailey and trust Him to work things out for the good.  I need to believe God is going to bring something beautiful to pass in my partnership with Bailey.  I need to keep moving forward in trust, looking at the beautiful dog he is rather than at the small area of difficulty. 

To persevere means to have vision and trust.  It also means to be confident in the person God has made me to be.  When I am walking, to press on past the narrow path to reach the bluebells. Or when I am writing, to know that yes I do have a call and gift to write to inspire and encourage others and to see that already coming to pass as I put the words together. 

In Philippians 3:12 Paul says:

'I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me . . .Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.'

I find it awesome to think that God has taken hold of ME and has a divine purpose for ME. But of course He does just as He does for you too.  And deep down, beyond all the struggles, I want to take hold of the joy of that divine vision and purpose in my life.  One thing I find incredible as that as much as I am trying to persevere, God is also persevering with me!  I am so fickle, up one day and down the next, but He is ever faithful.  He never gives up on me or on you.  He has hold of us and has a prize ready for us.  This prize is many things but I believe one is the sheer joy of knowing that somehow, as small and insignificant as I may feel, God is creating something beautiful through me and the way He chooses to use me. Who I am, my life, my words, my writing can all be like that beautiful carpet of bluebells hidden in the forest, waiting to be found, to surprise with joy.. 

I choose to persevere,

I choose to see

I choose to believe

I choose to be.

Tracy Williamson is an author and speaker working with blind musician Marilyn Baker for MBM Trust, a ministry of music, teaching and prayer.  Tracy shares a home with Marilyn is Kent, together with Marilyn's Guide dog Arlo and Tracy's new Hearing dog, Bailey. 

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