Look, I'm a student pastor. And for some reason, there's this unwritten rule that those of us in this area of ministry must be all about some Star Wars. I, however, am not. I've never seen one movie in my life. I remember catching a few glimpses of those giant teddy bears carrying some prisoners on their shoulders when TBS was showing reruns when I was in elementary school. Needless to say, I was creeped out for life. But, I'm all in for some Harry Potter. From reading the books in middle school to catching the midnight movie releases in college, I'm a Potter fan.
The author of the Harry Potter books, J.K. Rowling, has an inspirational story that you may or may not know. About three years before Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was published, she had just gone through a divorce, was on public aid (government assistance), and could barely afford to feed her baby. She was so broke that she couldn't afford to photocopy her 90,000-word novel, let alone buy a computer to type it out. So, she manually typed out each version to send to publishers. It was rejected dozens of times. But, Bloomsbury, a small publisher in London, gave it a chance after the CEO's eight-year-old daughter read it and fell in love with it.
Why am I talking about Star Wars and Harry Potter? Well, because J.K Rowling never gave up. She was persistent in her efforts of getting her book published. Persistency, as long as it's not immoral or illegal, is a good thing. More specifically, persistency in our spiritual lives is more than just a good thing, it's needed.
My testimony of how I came to surrender my life to follow Christ has a lot of backstory. My life was a slow spiral that was picking up speed as I became more and more out of control. From losing scholarships and semesters of college to putting my parents through some tough situations, I wasn't at all in a good place. I was hitting rockbottom. That rockbottom for me was noticing that I had reached a fork in the road. If I continued down the path I was already on, I would continue to disappoint my parents and more than likely slip into a life of alcoholism; the other was freedom from my guilt and shame. Needless to say, when I decided that I no longer wanted the life I was living and needed to be picked up and brought back to life, God did that. In my truck, driving down the road, eyeballs sweating, and the Holy Spirit speaking directly to me. The words in Chris Tomlin's rendition of Charlie Hall's song "Give Us Clean Hands" was what was needed for me to finally understand that my sins, my sludge could all be washed away as long as I ran to my Savior. I did, and I haven't looked back.
When all of this was taking place, even before it took place, there was something spectacular going on behind the scenes. It wasn't until years later that I found out that my mom had been praying for me for quite some time. Though I tried my best to hide things, moms always know. She was praying for my protection as I went out in high school and when I went off to college, doing what I wanted. But ultimately, she was praying for my salvation. She was praying that I would come to know Jesus and become the man that she knew I could be.
There came a time when my mom could no longer handle it all. I think at this point she understood that she couldn't change me or save me from the pit I was digging for myself. And it was at that point that though she continued to pray for me, she was physically handing me over to God; envisioning putting me in some sort of protective basket and handing her son over to the Creator. My mom understood that God would have to reach down and get a hold of me. Those prayers still reverberate in my life today.
My mom is persistent. She never gave up.
Don't give up.
That husband that you're praying for...that child that's breaking your heart...don't give up on them. Continue to pray for them. Continue to love them.
Life won't always be easy. Yours may be incredibly tough at this very moment. Trust that God will see you through it because He will. Don't give up. Continue to cling to Him because you can rest in Him.
You've reached that fork - where one path leads to total destruction and the other leads to grace and mercy in the open arms of a Savior that sees past your garbage. Don't give up. He hasn't. Run to Him.
There will come a point to when we understand that we can no longer handle a situation on our own and was never meant to. There will be a moment where we want to throw our hands up and give up, but don't do it. Be persistent, maybe even go through the motions of putting that worry in a basket. Let God have it. Just don't give up. I firmly believe that persistency is worth it.