"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:1-2)
I literally just wrote the word endurance on the board today in my classroom during a "teachable moment". We were learning a difficult skill and I could see my kids getting frustrated, shutting down, and giving up. So I stopped, and told them not to give up, to have "endurance"! Being the teacher, I knew that it would be hard at first but if they would just hang in there, they'd get the lesson and learn the skill!
I taught them that having endurance means to keep trying even when it's too hard, to never give up! All the while, I'm preaching to them to endure when times are difficult, realizing that I was full of hypocrisy! I know when the LORD is bringing me through something difficult, that I don't understand, or feel like is just "too hard" for me to go through, I get frustrated, shut down, and want to give up too.
So once again, the Lord teaches me through His word (and through these precious little children) a great life lesson. Just as I know when I am teaching them something difficult, it's for their own good. It may seem too hard at first, but they will learn and it will be for their benefit. They can't see beyond the task, the circumstance. Just like me. When our Heavenly Father, the Good Teacher, is teaching me, I can't see beyond my circumstance. All the while, He is reminding me to endure and keep my eyes fixed on Him.
Oh that I would lay aside every weight, look to Jesus, and trust Him all the more!
"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance" (James 1:2-3)
"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)