To endure is to prevail
“We rejoice in our sufferings knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope. And hope does not disappoint.”
-Letter to the Romans
Part of what we are called to do here on earth is to endure. And if we have the courage to endure whatever life presents then we are promised to prevail.
What does it mean to endure? It means you do not yield, give up, fold under the weight of the world. You remain. Battle-worn—soul intact.
How many times have you met someone or heard the grueling story of a fellow human being presented with what appears the worst that life can bring, and somehow they miraculously rise to the occasion, endure the brunt with grace, and prevail.
Why are we drawn to the story of the underdog?
Because we see ourselves as the underdog.
Everyday one of us is braving an illness, grieving the loss of someone we loved, wading through issues with one of our children, care-giver to another suffering, persevering against an addiction or beside someone that is battling with the demons. The trials and tribulations that come with being human are endless, turn our lives upside down, and, drumroll… provide the stage for the underdog to prevail.
It requires more than just muscle to endure the plight of being human. How many times have you wished for your fairy godmother and her sparkly wand to appear and poof like magic make your problems disappear. But grace does’t work like that. Grace percolates beneath the courage, stretching you from the inside out.
Part of the secret of enduring is having an interior life. And what that looks like in praxis is unique to each one of us, as is our approach to faith, and relationship with the Divine. What I do know is that the soul is incredibly resilient. When the phoenix burns up in the fire, it is the soul that rises from the ashes, stronger for the next battle. I am far from an expert when it comes to gracefully weathering life’s trials. But I do know that turning inward and giving attention to the soul readies one for battle.
It is also important to surround yourself with angels. We all need the wings to lift us up when we stumble. And the underdog will stumble, lose faith, and want to raise the white flag of retreat. We are only human! We must allow people a front row seat so that when we do fall, they can sweep in and carry us until we are strong again.
To endure means that we hold onto hope with the tenacity of a bulldog. You have to believe that you will prevail, no matter how difficult, how long, and how painful the journey. As the psalmist promises: Joy will come again in the morning.
Now this isn’t scientifically proven, but I would suggest to you that part of enduring in life is being willing to actually look beyond your own situation to that of another’s. Self-preservation will get you nowhere fast. There is nothing more powerful than when we forget ourselves for just a moment and extend compassion to another. Every underdog turned hero has somewhere along the way sacrificed themselves and their own needs for another. Sacrificial love ends up saving us and so many more in the end. We are all in this crazy beautiful journey together. When one hurts, we all hurt, and when one prevails, we all prevail!
Live in Hope,