The sun warmed our sand and salt dusted skin. My heart felt warm too, as I watched my husband throw baseball with my son and my daughter Kate approach me with goggles resting on her forehead and a bucket in hand. I too have a bucket in one hand and a shovel in the other. Scoop after scoop we work toward our goal of digging a hole for both of us to fit in.
“Are we making any progress?” I ask Kate from my seated position inside the middle of the hole. We had been shoveling for a quite awhile and from my vantage point it didn’t look like we had accomplished much. But from the outside looking in, Kate had a much different perspective. “We are, Mom! You just can’t see it from where you are.”
Doesn’t life feel this way sometimes too? We work diligently toward a goal and we look around in disappointment thinking we should be further along by now. Negative thoughts crowd our minds, digging a dark hole of their own in our hurting hearts. Why is this taking so long? Why isn’t my hard work paying off? And in these situations, we are tempted to give up aren’t we? At least I am. We start to question whether the goal was really worth all it takes to achieve it. Or whether we have what it takes to succeed. We even start to question if we had the right goal to begin with.
At times it is wise to change direction when things aren’t going according to plan. After praying and seeking guidance from the Lord and His will for our lives, we sometimes have to stop and regroup. But I wonder how many times in our lives we gave up too quickly? Had we pushed through just a little longer, would we have realized the dream, the desire of our hearts, or the call on our lives?
What if Moses had stopped pleading with Pharaoh after nine plagues rather than ten? The Israelites would have remained in slavery in Egypt. What if Joshua and the Israelites had stopped walking around the wall of Jericho after six times rather than seven? They would have never seen the walls fall and entered into the promised land. What if Noah had only built half of an ark? That would not have floated very well would it? Nor would his family and all of those animals have lived through the flood.
We can apply this same thought process to our lives. What if we are on the brink of a breakthrough and we stop too soon? It is difficult to see our progress when we are in the midst of our circumstance. We look to God saying, “Are we making any progress, Lord?” To which I imagine Him responding, “We are! You just can’t see it from where you are.” From our earthly perspective our view is limited. But from God’s eternal perspective, His view is limitless.
God has given us all a big job to do. This job will likely be hard, it will probably take a long time, but it will always be worth it. Just as God was pleased with Moses, Joshua and Noah, He will also be pleased with us when we persevere in doing what He has called us to do.
God doesn’t leave us to figure it out on our own. He will give us the wisdom, the courage, the strength, the endurance, and the means to fulfill His purposes. We can have faith that whatever God commands us to, He will provide what we need to carry it through.
So don’t give up too soon. Stay the course. Ask for God’s eternal perspective. And most of all, don’t give up hope. Let’s celebrate where we are in the process. In fact, let’s praise Him in the process. He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion (Philippians 1:6). Whether it’s lap one, 100, or 1,000, God is pleased with your progress because your heart is to please Him.
Don’t wonder “what if?” Just keep going, sweet sister. You may be on the brink of a breakthrough.