“She’s a tough old bird.” That’s how my dad often described my mom. He was right. At the age of 81, she had a complete mastectomy of her right breast. Six months later, competing against women as young as 35, she won the Ladies Nine-Hole Championship of Eaton Country Club, in Colorado. I would do well to take a lesson from her—in life, not golf—for she is a woman of quiet perseverance and indomitable spirit. This year has seen the loss of Dad. She draws on her faith in God one day at a time as she walks through her grief.

All too often I let difficult circumstances trip me up. I want things to be easy and expect them to be because I’m in God’s will. But that’s flawed thinking. Was God’s mission for Moses easy? Or for any of the prophets? Was it easy for Jesus? Being in the middle of God’s will doesn’t guarantee Easy Street. What blessings have I missed because I gave up rather than persisted?

“…make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love” (2 Peter 1:5-7, NIV). Perseverance is an important part of our growth. And while troubles aren’t fun, God uses them to help us grow (1 Peter 1:6-7). The blessing is that God is with us through our troubles, and his strength to keep battling is readily available to us. Ask and it shall be given. “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” (Isaiah 26:3, NLT). Focus on God, not the battle and you will persevere.

Debra L. Butterfield © 2010  Oil Painting by Dorothy Butterfield

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