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Word for Wednesday

Word for Wednesday: Perseverence

September 27, 2016   |   Word for Wednesday

 Luke 21:12-19

The time we spend in the outdoors is often breathtaking, relaxing, eye-opening, and rejuvenating.  Time flies by as we hike almost effortlessly on well-groomed, well-marked trails.

The going is more difficult when we are scrambling across scree slopes .  We’re careful to maintain balance and avoid slipping on the loose rocks.  With the weight of a full pack, jumping from boulder to boulder on talus fields is even more exhausting as we set course for the summit. We are challenged not only physically, but mentally as well. Did you ever wonder what keeps us going? What gives us the strength to endure physical challenges and suffering?

In our daily lives, just as in climbing a difficult summit approach trail with a full pack, there are times when we are tempted to take an easier route altogether.

It would be great if our lives were like an easy, level hike on well-groomed, well-marked trails.  But let’s face it.  Life is messy and we frequently have challenges the size of huge boulders in our path.  We pray that God will show us the way.  Make our journey easier.  Answer our prayers.  Don’t you hear me, Lord?

We might begin to wonder if our faith isn’t as strong as it should be.  We think: Maybe we didn’t get the help we prayed for because we don’t have enough faith.  If we had been more faith-filled, God would have given us what we asked for and the obstacles in our life wouldn’t have been so insurmountable.

Jesus reminds his disciples that the lack of a great quantity of faith isn’t the problem — after all, faith the size of a mustard seed will do!

No, Jesus points out in Luke 21:19 that our faith is measured by our perseverance. Are we willing to use the gift of faith that we have received from God to endure the difficult times we face in life?  Great things will be asked of Christ’s disciples.  What are you willing to endure for the sake of the kingdom of God?

When our pack is so heavy, our legs and back ache from the demands, can we keep going?  Can we endure a little longer?  Can we continue to persevere by relying on the strength of Jesus when we don’t feel strong enough to do it on our own?

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Deacon Kevin Richardson

Kevin is a Catholic Deacon who serves in a parish setting and works with adults and teens, incarcerated individuals, and people who are homeless. He grew up in New England and spent decades exploring, hiking, and camping in the forests of New Hampshire.

Deacon Kevin leads Holy Adventure Outdoor Ministry, located in Central Illinois, and provides unique outdoor programs and retreat opportunities (from several hours to multiple days) to encounter God while immersed in the beauty and simplicity of God’s creation. Programs are Bible based and offer an introduction to a wide variety of wilderness living and survival skills.

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