rediscovering christianity's forgotten, organic ways amidst the modern industrial religious machine


By April Pryor

“I don’t know how you do this with all your kids” a friend recently said to me as we were on the last leg of the long journey home from a trip to Israel. I replied, “Well, they just have to learn how to persevere.”  My friend said, “That means mom and dad have to learn it first!”

As I look back across my life, I can think of many times when I learned to persevere through something difficult.  In my younger years, it was things like weeding the garden in the heat with misquotes a-bitin’, putting one foot in front of another towards the end of a long hike, waiting in a long line at an amusement park, sleeping on the hard ground when camping outside, putting up with my brother’s  annoyances on the last few hours of a road trip, staying up late until the paper is written, sticking with a difficult work out. In my adult life, it’s been things more along the lines of eating the same thing for dinner every night when the budget didn’t allow extras, being pregnant for 43 weeks, fighting through 4 days of labor, helping our family start a business – putting in late nights for years, dealing with all the drains of bearing, birthing, and nursing 5 babies, 5 c-section recoveries, saying the same things over and over again to my children as I train them, learning Hebrew, and yes, taking all the kids to Israel to live for 3 months. (Caveat – the way perseverance has looked in my life can look pretty darn wimpy if it were compared to others’ in different parts of the world.)

It seems that perseverance is in direct opposition to comfort.  If we are setting up a comfortable life for ourselves, it leaves very little room for persevering.  By it’s very nature, perseverance requires something difficult to be experienced or endured.  So why bother? Why train our children in this? Why challenge ourselves to persevere? The Scriptures say that perseverance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope (Rom. 5:4) and that hope is one of 3 things that will remain forever (I Cor. 13:13).

Now that we have the why, what about how? How do we face the trials we are in, or the little mundane things that are repetitive, or just keep on keepin’ on in this life? By fixing our eyes on JESUS, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. (Heb. 12:2) Which, by the way, is another thing that will last forever.