It was Monday night. The temperature was slowly bottoming out and there was anywhere from 8 to 12 inches of snow on the ground.
The coffee shop was well lit and welcoming. Sweet coffee aromas wafted among the group of women who were gathering. Tables were pushed together and conversations began as soon as several women drew near each other. The only lull came when the leader called the ladies together.
Conversations quickly ended as anticipation filled the space. A sense of hunger and a craving for more than coffee was evident. Introductions followed and Isaiah 43:19 centered the women for the evening.
I find that women desire a chance to gather with other women. We draw closer through common interests, but find making connections is how we are wired. The beauty of this evening was the chance to dig into what God was teaching through Isaiah 43:19, but also the gift of give and take in the flow of a Jesus-led conversation.
As I led the women Monday evening, I hoped they left the coffee shop knowing how God continues to refine them as a new creation every morning. And also how they are gifted with perseverance just from the nature of being a child of God.
The last few weeks as we gathered here on Sundays we dived deeper into Romans 5:1-5. The first week we looked at peace and gave ourselves the challenge to embrace peaceful beginnings in our own lives. Last week, we read the Message version and found God on the other side of the door that we are already standing at. He opens the door at the exact time we need Him and provides what we need on the other side.
Today, let’s carve out a bit of time to understand perseverance. Romans 5:3-4 outlines it like this:
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-4
A new year brings energy, a renewed motivation to accomplish all the things, and a list of goals/resolutions to keep us on the straight and narrow. As I shared my inability to persevere through a list of New Year resolutions to the women gathered at the coffee shop, I know now that God never once thought I was a failure.
Somehow, I desired a message of purpose and hope to break through the challenge of persevering through our goals. But how does a list transfer into a message?
What I know is how perseverance comes in the small, hard, and minute details of our lives. God takes our desire to complete each goal and matches it with His hope and motivation to reach the end. He stands in the gap between our lists and end goals and shows us His presence in every forward or backward step.
As a lover of creating lists, I know that giving up writing multiple goals places me in a better place of receiving all God has for me. In the past, I spent too much time beating myself up when I lost the will to persevere to complete a task on any given day.
Now I am intentional about persevering in my time with God. I journal all the things and press on in the quiet, morning stillness while getting to know Him better.Perseverance comes in the small, hard and minute details of our lives. Click To Tweet
Monday night I shared that I need to do me and they need to do them. Goals are admirable and necessary. But if they overwhelm us rather than allow us to grow deeper in relationship with God, then we lose the path to perseverance.
All I know is that sticking with anything is hard. Giving up writing lists of resolutions gave me the freedom to persevere in a different way. Now I create the space for a daily brain dump in my journal. Each word and thought is a leaning into the truth of God.
Instead of berating myself for not accomplishing each goal, I am taking baby steps toward time with God. Each journaling session produces a perseverance that is growing my character. And that is enough.
Coffee and conversation brought the ladies in the door Monday night, but God and His truth led them home.
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