Perseverance

I have never mastered the art of ice-skating, so it amazes me to see tiny tots staggering around the rink, somehow keeping their balance on two razor-thin blades. Red cheeks and sparkling eyes are almost hidden under a helmet with a cage across their face for safety. Bundled up in a snowsuit that's usually one size too large ("they'll grow into it"), they set out, first pushing a chair-like contraption ahead of them. Then, they become fearless. With all that padding, they couldn't possibly hurt themselves, though there are bigger children who can intimidate them.

My son texted me a video of my little granddaughter at the rink. Last year, she was able to walk on her skates around the side of the rink by herself, but within touching distance of the boards. This year, she couldn't wait to set out directly across the rink, with nothing to hold onto if she fell.

Her mother and little sisters crowded in the opposite entrance to watch and cheer my granddaughter on. Head up, arms swinging, she set out. On the video, I could hear her skates on the ice. Scrape, scrape … One of her brothers sped by with a word of encouragement. She was not to be distracted. Her steps didn't falter. Determined, she kept going.

Scrape, scrape … Almost there. But my little granddaughter was growing tired. Now, her head was down, her arms beginning to flail. I held my breath as I watched. At the last moment, she cried out "Daddy, Daddy!"

The video jumped, and I realized, of course, that my son had been right beside her the whole time with his camera. Unseen, he was within grabbing distance if she fell.

But she made it! At the end of her strength, she reached out for the boards at the side of the rink and touched them. I heard my son shout, "You did it!" as her sisters jumped up and down, wild with excitement.

The video came to an abrupt end. What determination! I was so proud of her!

Hebrews 12:1-3 – Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us … run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus … so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (NIV)

The apostle Paul likens our life's journey to a race. He encourages us to persevere and stay the course by keeping our eyes firmly fixed on our Saviour, Jesus. If we concentrate on Him, we won't be distracted, tire, or lose hope. And Paul tells us that there are those who are watching, cheering us on.

Hebrews 13:5b – God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." (NIV)

God is always with us. Unseen, He is right beside us all the way. We can step out; we are never alone. All we have to do is cry out "Abba! Daddy!"

Prayer: Abba, we are Your children, adopted into Your family. Thank You for encouraging and comforting us, and for never leaving our side. Help us to keep our eyes firmly fixed on You to the end. Amen.

1 comment on this post.
  1. PresbyCan Feedback:

    May it be so, JJ.


    Thank you, a very good devotion.


    Wonderfully illustrated, thanks so much!


    Good one! Does my Canadian heart proud! Thanks.


    Thanks, JJ, for this encouragement to keep our eyes on Jesus.


    Well told, JJ! So moving and real, simple and profound. A great start to a long winter ahead.


    Oh, JJ what a wonderful example for us to follow… and a little child shall lead them. Thanks for sharing. Blessings.


    Dear Sandjllie,
    Thank you for the devotional. It gets better all the way down including the prayer.
    Keep writing,


    Good morning JJ,
    Thank you for this devotional. Yes, we are so blessed to have our Lord at our side at all times. The strength and reassurance He gives us carries us through so many of life’s predicaments.
    Blessings for writing.
    (B.C.)


    Hello
    This was a beautiful and heartwarming devotional. So true of our heavenly father, right there to take hold.
    Thank you and enjoy the rest of the weekend.
    God is so good.
    God bless.


    Amen JJ. We just bought our granddaughter her first pair of skates yesterday so l guess Grammy will be walking her up to the outdoor rink once she opens them at Christmas. I figure she can use the stroller as a “chair” to support herself as she learns the ropes… maybe that should be “blades.” Lots of fun.
    Blessings.


    I hope she retains her determination. Last year I had a stroke and the therapist told my husband that the most they could offer was a bed in LTC and maybe occasionally a wheelchair. Well they thought I was sleeping but I heard, and I prayed for strength to do the therapy and I went from, as the therapist said, a rag doll to somebody who walks with a walker. The therapists were using me to show what that determination did.so continue encouraging that little girl. There will be lots of times it will get her through different situations. Bravo little girl.
    (ON)


    What a delightful story to share. I too was breathless to see if she would make it! Enjoy the videos as they come. They grow up so fast!


    Hi JJ,
    What a lovely devotional; l was engrossed in it, fevering your granddaughter on! As usual, your writing style evokes such vivid imagery and your word choice is exquisite.
    Also, thank you for this analogy that God as our Father, our Abba, never allows us to stumble or fall. He is always at our side, even if we can’t see Him or feel Him at the time.
    Blessings.

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