The greatest lesson my dad taught me was to never quit. When I wanted to join the swim team at eight, I remember him saying, “Now this is gonna get tough, and there will be days it’s gonna hurt. But if you start this, you can’t quit. Decide now if you wanna do this, because my kid isn’t gonna be a quitter.”
He’d been on the swim team himself and was one of the best, as obvious by the many trophies he’d won. He knew practices would be hard, long, and rigorous, causing muscles to ache with exhaustion. It would require dedication of time that sometimes I may want to apply elsewhere that would be more fun and easy. So I had to decide if I had what it took to finish what I started and finish well.
I’ve always been a girl who liked a challenge and would take it on, even if I was getting in over my head. Chalk it up to my need to prove to the world that I could do anything (I might still suffer from that on occasion 😜). Being on the swim team seemed exciting, fun and, of course, challenging. So, I decided I did have what it took and I wanted to do it.
I competed for three years. It was hard. It did hurt, and there were countless times I felt I wasn’t good enough or couldn’t handle it; times I felt I hated it and I wanted to quit. But I never did. Each season I pushed through, finished strong and proud, with a stack of ribbons and my own trophies to represent my acheviement.
I’ve continued to apply the same principles in everything, even when the going gets tough.
In this life, God calls us to do things, big things, for His kingdom. Things that are so much bigger than us. It’s both exciting and humbling. It can also get overwhelming; to the point that we can find ourselves tempted to quit. Let’s set aside the fact that so much of the time we take what He’s called us to do and get ahead of ourselves and even try to do it on our own. I’m so guilty of this. The fact that He calls us to do anything for the Kingdom is enough to light a fire under the devil’s rear and give him reason to throw out all the stops. Enough of them to get us to the point of feeling defeated, exhausted, and even hate what we’re called to do, all in an attempt to get us to quit.
Many do quit. When it gets too hard or frustrating, it’s easier to tell ourselves, “Well, it must be that it’s time for me to be done if I’ve gotten to this place where it’s so hard and I’m so miserable.” OR “Maybe it’s me trying to make it work and not Him. Maybe He never really called me to do this.”
Oh how Satan would LOVE us to buy into that! God never has us start something without the intention to have us finish well. He always has a bigger purpose in mind than what we can physically comprehend. The biggest problem we face, though, is when God gives us something to do, we tend to think that He’ll make it easy for us. I’ve learned that’s so not true. There are so many examples in scripture that depict huge callings met with huge oppositions and obstacles. Every time, it would’ve been easier to quit. I can’t help but think of the apostle Paul. What would this world look like if he had quit when it got so incredibly hard?
Just because God calls us to do something great doesn’t mean it’ll be easy. We have to ask ourselves why we’re doing it and who we’re doing it for. The second thing we have to do is recognize that just because He called us to do it doesn’t mean He expects us to do it on our own or alone. He’s called us to do it, but we have to understand that it’s not by our strength that we can do it in the first place. It’s Him who does it through us. We’re just the vessel. He also doesn’t expect us to do it alone but with others He brings alongside us. To try doing it on our own is fueled by pride and will inevitably cause us to want to quit.
God has called you to do great things for His kingdom. You may already know what they are, and it may already be getting tough. Know this: you have what it takes to finish well. Believe it and push through.
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6 NLT
So when the going gets tough, and it will, choose today to finish strong and proud. Don’t quit.
Because you are what God says you are! You are enough!
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Heather Whidden loves Jesus, is married to her best friend and is mother of 3 blessings. She is a professional photographer and has a heart for ministry. She loves spending time with her family and friends, writing and reading. Time and people is what she values most. You can read more about her here.