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100DC Day 34: The Power of Perseverance

100 Day Challenge: The Power of PerseveranceThe Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom records one of the most profound human responses I’ve ever seen outside of deity. She and her sister, Betsy, had read in this Bible verse:

Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.

Crammed in a flea infested barrack in a concentration camp, they thanked God for the fleas — that kept even the guards at away — and for the overcrowding — because it gave them the opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with more people.

Betsy and Corrie saw a blessing in everything, something to be thankful for. At very least, we can probably expect ourselves to take negative situations that confront us and look for an opportunity for growth, a lesson to be learned, or a new positive path to take.

Be thankful for all obstacles, for they are your practice ground, as each new victory prepares you for a greater future victory.

Next time a problem pops up in the way of your beautifully planned day — or week or year — make a mental note to look for positive changes to be gained by dealing positively and calmly with the situation. It won’t necessarily solve the problem or make it go magically away. But it will put you in a better frame of mind to endure and to make the best of it.

Perseverance is also crucial in goal setting when we don’t see progress as quickly as we expect or desire. It can be discouraging to  work and work and work to see little or know movement. But remember this maxim:

Pace is irrelevant to perseverance. It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.

Do not give up. Do not give in. Keep moving — even if only slightly — toward the life you want. Even tiny bits of progress add up to an enormous difference.

Join me in the 100 Day Challenge!

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Margot February 4, 2013, 10:07 pm

    That is probably the most powerful story in Hiding Place. But I have the worst problem with being negative. When the first thing goes wrong, I expect everything to fall apart, or I feel like everything is ruined if there is even one thing out of place.

  • Alison Moore Smith February 7, 2013, 10:35 am

    Margot, thanks for sharing your experience. Often just recognizing how negative we are is enough to stop ourselves from making every molehill into an insurmountable mountain. Try to remember (and I say this to myself as much as you), that most unpleasant situations have positive aspects.

    Once when my two oldest daughters were very young, we planned a picnic. For days they planned the menu and activities and anticipated the date.

    Of course, it rained buckets that day. Freezing rain. There would be NO picnic. At least that’s how it appeared. I no longer recall how it all happened, but we ended up spreading a big blanket on the floor of our tiny living room, putting up beach chair and propping up umbrellas, and eating our picnic on the floor, with the kids all decked out in swimsuits, sunglasses, and beach shoes.

    The most important part of the story is that this impromptu, second-place idea was far more fun and memorable than the original plan. We have dozens of completely forgotten picnics under our belts. But this is one that will stick with us.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…100DC Day 38: Redemption and Second ActsMy Profile

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