My co-worker mentioned to me yesterday she was heading back home to help clear out her mom’s apartment. For the last several weeks, she has been working with her brother sorting through items their mother no longer needed now that they moved her into a senior home.
One of the biggest challenges was going through all the craft items their mom started but never got around to finishing. It was amazing to discover just how many projects they found tucked away in the apartment their mom called home for over 30 years.
I am sure we have all been there ourselves. We begin well and have incredible momentum to start a career, marriage, business, or a project and then somewhere along the way, we encounter challenges and obstacles that might slow us down or perhaps even block our way.
It takes one set of skills to start a new endeavor, and as the journey progresses and develops, it takes a special kind of determination to stay the course and seek creative ways to overcome and press through.
2 Chronicles 15:7—Be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded. NIV
Sometimes our human strength and stamina is not enough. Our enthusiasm fades, and we are having a hard time staying focused on the finished goal. In fact, it is looking more inviting to quit with each passing moment.
Pressing through to finish what we started, takes a special kind of power. I like to call it “the power of joy” that becomes a strength that drives us through the in-between times, when you need a second wind, and a revived stamina to not give up so we can finish well.
Nehemiah 8:10—Don’t be sad, because the joy of the Lord will make you strong. NCV
Joy is a powerful weapon and it is greater than adversity (Habakkuk 3:17-19). We can decide to be joyful in our spirit, regardless of the circumstances, (Philippians 4:4) and we are encouraged to learn to look at challenges with complete joy (James 1:2). Joy is a supernatural strength only God can supply.
Our journey is never the same in each season and through the various phases of life. It may require learning new skills, discovering innovative approaches to challenges, and having a perspective that allows us to find joy in the journey.
God has imparted in all of us dreams, visions, passions, and interests for us to pursue and we need to relentlessly endeavor to never give up the journey He has for us.
It is important that we allow God to guide us each step of the way and to press on through the middle stretch in the power of joy.
John 15:11—These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. BRG