Covid-19 Devotionals

Focus and Perseverance

This morning yielded more or less the same temperature as yesterday, as I left for my walk at the same time to do the same distance, hopefully within the same time frame. There was, however, one difference … my legs were sore … maybe because I have increased my walking distance to 6.5 kl, walking as briskly as possible (12 to 12½ minutes a kl). Four days of walking this way (Sat, Mon, Tues and today) easily could have caused the pain. It was a struggle, a battle to keep going. So often, I thought of cutting the walk short … and then I remembered back to when I was a long distance runner … “run through the pain” and “no pain no gain”. Maybe that’s a little bit of positive thinking, but it took my mind off the discomfort and saw me completing the distance.

After breakfast, I returned to my “cylinder making”. I had already cut the pieces of wood to length and cut the angles required. The base has been cut into a 14 inch diameter. Today, I needed to sand all pieces plus the base. Once I had done this, I needed to (with Jenny’s help) shape the wood around the base to determine the width of the final strip. I prayed and took a chance with the eye. To me, it seemed that the width needed to be about 1 inch on the inside (shortest side). I cut this strip to size at the right angle. Then it was ready to assemble! Trial and error did not feature now. I ran two lengths of duct tape 47 inches long to hold the pieces of wood pressed closely together. Then, I glued each angle and lifted the pieces of wood into a circle, placing it onto the base. Quickly, using long cable ties tied together, I strapped the bottom, middle and top together in a cylindrical shape. Praise the Lord … It seems to have come together. I will leave it till Friday for the glue to settle properly before I remove the duct tape and cable ties. Then I’ll sander the outside of the cylinder again before I stain the cylinder. By then it ought to be ready to store Jen’s rolls of paper.

What lessons am I able to take away from these two stories today? They both speak about keeping focus and perseverance. Walking with sore legs required me to focus on achievement, and to do that I needed to persevere. Making the paper roll holder took a lot of guts. I needed to make temporary jigs and make shift work benches. I needed to use my eye to make length and size judgments. Throughout the whole operation I often thought I would land up with firewood. Yet focus and perseverance saw me through.

The Christian walk is mostly not an easy one. Too often, because we desire to walk the holy pathway, the enemy tends to lurk around every corner. There is always opposition. There is always a desire to pack it in. There is always a reluctance to persevere. There is always the thought of losing focus. There is always an inkling to taste a little of this sin and that sin. The want to switch off the conscience and ignore the presence of God by His Spirit tends to be an option. It’s relentless … it’s like a war movie where the bombs are falling, the fighter planes are crashing, the ships are sinking, the troops are dying! True, Biblical Christianity is real tough and that is why we need to keep focused … and that is why we need to persevere. I needed to see the end of the walk today. I needed to see the completed cylinder today. That’s focus and that’s perseverance. We need to see heaven today!

We read in Hebrews:

Heb 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

The context to this passage is Hebrews chapter 11. Please read that when you have time. Now, how do we throw off everything that hinders our Christian walk? How do we throw off the sin that so easily captivates us? How do we run the race God has marked out for us so that we persevere to the end (1)?

In verse 2 … we fix our eyes on Jesus. We attach spiritual blinkers. We adopt spiritual tunnel vision. We place the complete gospel before our mind’s eye and behold the majesty of our glorious suffering Saviour who gave His all for our redemption. In verse 3 … we consider His example of standing solid to fulfill His mission. Here we develop guts and grit to put our heads down and run for the finish line with total perseverance.

O God, You know how weak I am in the flesh. Empower me by Your Spirit to keep my focus on Jesus, considering the way He lived life so that through His example applied to my life I might please You, keep focus and preserve to the end, for Christ sake. Amen.

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