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  • Writer's picturePastor John L. Weeks

Got Endurance?

Got endurance? We're gonna need it! On their feet ten hours a day, unable to sufficiently handle the last two complaints due to time constraints, the phone rings again. Oblivious to the circumstances of the service writer on the receiving end, the customer berates their vehicle, the manufacturer, the dealership, the process, while their service writer quietly sifts through the verbage for intent. Grabbing a pen from the disheveled kiosk, they jot a couple of notes and punch away at their keyboard, while other customers, managers, and technicians stand before them waiting patiently for their questions to be answered. They're service writers. We don't like it when our cars break, we're inconvenienced, and unexpectedly spending money. Ten hours a day, sometimes six days a week, year after year, the service writer is the face for our vehicular woes. They'll need endurance. So will their customers, technicians, parts providers, finance managers, administrative personnel, company owners, and for that matter, moms, dads, teachers, military members, pastors, accountants, truck drivers, and ad-infinitem. Endurance is the ability to tolerate unpleasant or difficult circumstances or people without giving way. Its lexical cousins include fortitude, stamina, and sufferance. We need it. In his phenomenal manual, "Taking Time to Quiet Your Soul", when in the midst of trials, troubles, and tribulations, counselor Jim Berg offers this sage advice - "don't just ask for deliverance, ask for endurance" (p.56). Yep, we should be praying alright! Our personal capital is both deficient and defective - we do need our Creator - the ultimate force multiplier! Can we hear ourselves quietly praying, "Lord, please get me out of this"? While there's nothing wrong with such prayers and we actually do experience deliverance, do we remember that our Creator benevolently intends to make us better through our circumstances than to get us through those circumstances? Do we remember as the Giver of all good things, He's willing and able to help us endure hardship? He's seeking to conform us into the likeness of His dear Son, King Jesus who always handled every circumstance perfectly. He's seeking to make us more patient, better listeners, resilient, yes - tougher people. Heard of Shizo Kanakuri? He holds the record for the world's slowest marathon - 54 years, 8 months, 5 hours, and 32 minutes. Marathoners of the 1912 olympics were dropping like flies due to heat exhaustion. Only half of the 68 runners finished the race. Kanakuri dropped out and became a "missing marathoner". Discovering he still lived, 54 years later, authorities formally asked the Japanese runner to return to Sweden to finish the race. Kanakuri obliged and at 74, became the record holder for the world's slowest marathon. Kankuri finished the race. And so should we! "Don't just pray for deliverance, pray for endurance." Pressed? Oppressed? Tired? Plum, worn out? First century Messianic Jews facing persecution were tempted to apostatize. Our Creator and Sustainer's motivation to us echoes down time's hallowed halls encouraging us to endure... ...laying aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame...for consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls".

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