We are approaching the end of this exercise. Only one more day left and then Lent is over and Holy Week begins. Endings are times of reflection, when you look back over what you have done and do a sort of lessons learned exercise. You ask yourself what did I do well, what needed improvement, and what did I learn.
I learned that I can still do this – write something every day. Some days were better than others, but every day had something written down. When I started this effort, a bit belatedly, I didn’t know if I could finish and God willing and the creek don’t rise (a saying from my youth) I will finish this commitment tomorrow.
That is a good thing. God respects perseverance. Perseverance is part of the Triumph of Faith, which is laid out by Paul in Romans 5:3-5
“Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.”
Notice where it says hope comes from; notice the chain of consequence. Hope comes from character. Character comes from perseverance, and perseverance comes from suffering. So, by avoiding suffering we cannot get ourselves to hope. Remember that. It is an important point. Everything has its purpose. God wastes nothing.
Dear Lord, thank you for your grace shed upon me during this long journey. I thank you that I endured the difficulties and suffering it took to get this far, since that produced in me the fruit of perseverance. The continued exercise of perseverance helped to mold my character, and because that character building, the flower of hope has bloomed.
That hope is important for as Paul explains in Roman 6:19, it is the anchor for our soul.
This hope [this confident assurance] we have as an anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whatever pressure bears upon it]—a safe and steadfast hope that enters within the veil [of the heavenly temple, that most Holy Place in which the very presence of God dwells], Amplified Bible
I pray that you have hope to anchor your soul and that you do not avoid the suffering it takes to get there…