By your perseverance you will secure your lives. Luke 21:19
This was the final score in my very first basketball game in a formal league. Impressive right? Yes, our opponents are. We were crushed, to the very meaning of the word. We were shattered into pieces. Imagine, playing 40 minutes without a single basket. We know how to make a play yet did not make a shot.
If you think that have ended my unheralded basketball career, you’re wrong. I still played games. I still was shooting hoops. I still love the feel of the ball on my hands. I still desire the thug of a dribbling ball on a hardwood. Sometimes, my team wins. Most of the time, my heart is broken. If I add up my victories in playing this game, it won’t just compare to the mountain of defeats I have to face at the sound of the buzzer. Up until now, I play the game. Yeah, I know I suck in this game. But I still come into the rectangular court with two vertical holes at the end and play.
If my Christian life has a score board, I would be surely at the cellar in this game. If you compare my victories over sin to my succumbing to temptations, you are looking at a dwarf compared to a giant. I know, I suck in living as a Christian. I still sin. I still am tactless and would hurt someone with my insensitive words and selfish actions. I am vulnerable with difficulties. A little hump in my journey, becomes a hill in my heart. My faith always is shaken, my loyalty always at check. My temper is still a suspect. The lust in my heart is still my first challenge.
However, this does not stop me from living for God. I still follow him. I still pray. I still pray for forgiveness. I still come to him and ask for grace and strength. I still read the Bible. I still serve. I still go for counsel among brothers and sisters. I still attend church. I still participate in community. I still drink from Jesus’ cup and share his meal. I still want to love others. My heart regains joy in being with him. The touch of his book gives me peace as I roll my eyes on its pages. My soul pounds when I hear someone preaches with fire in his Spirit. I know, it won’t be easy. It’s hard. It’s difficult. It’s a daily struggle. But I still come into his heavenly court where a perfect God meets his imperfect follower.
This is perseverance. And this is what secures our lives.