Isn't that just a terrible word? It seems so... daunting.
There are countless things that must be endured: illness, hunger, unhappiness, loneliness, destitution, physical pain, insensitivity... the list is never ending.
Of all these things to be endured, not a single one of them is appealing or pleasant. When I think of enduring to the end (as we are so often advised to do), I can't help but dwell on the long, agonizing journey that must be taken; the dismal waiting before the blessed relief.
Much like a child, I often feel like saying Fine! I'll endure it if I have to, but I'm NOT gonna be happy about it!
Yesterday, I was thinking about some discouraging things that are going on in my life and, just as it has so many times before, that terrible word kept hacking it's way into my mind: Endure... Endure... ENDURE! But, there was more... I kept getting the impression that this time, there was more required of me. Not only would I have to endure these unpleasant circumstances, I would have to endure them well.
My initial reaction was, You're kidding, right? I'm not particularly good at enduring, period. But to endure it well? As in, with GRACE? That's raising the bar just a little too high, don't you think?
But as much as I tried, I simply couldn't dismiss the thought of not only enduring, but enduring well. So instead of crying and complaining about it, I decided that at the very least, I could make an effort to accept it.
As I began to access situation with an open mind, something interesting happened: I actually started to like the idea. As I began to embrace the thought, I began to view the word endure differently. I no longer feel as though it's something being forced upon me: you must endure this! It has become more of a goal: I will endure this, and somehow I'll walk away a better person for it!
Not only is this a direct challenge to make it through with a positive attitude, it is an opportunity to draw closer to Him. There is something to be gained through these experiences and although I'm not yet sure what it is, I'm confident that someday I'll look back and feel gratitude for having gone through them. Although things may never work out the way I'm hoping, I believe they will work out how and when He wants them to. I'm learning that having faith in Him also means having faith in His timing.
So, although I'm not exactly sure what lies ahead and I have no idea what the end result will be, I've made a resolution to not only face these challenges, but to face them willingly and with my head held high.
I will endure this well.