a season of enduring

by Elizabeth DeBarros

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                                                                                              Photo credit: Donna Bearden

 

The medal for endurance is not something you start out with. It’s no token for incentive, like a rabbit’s foot or a lucky coin. It’s what you end up with after having lived through your own personal Holocaust. Or Vietnam. Ziklag has its offerings, too. It comes after all has been lost.

But what is it really? What’s it made of?

“Remember David and all the hardships he endured.”

— Psalm 132:1

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Is it determination of the will? Surviving against the odds?

These may be aspects to the business of enduring, but they are not it.

Endurance is something you discover after the harsh winter has run its course and weathered your soul through to spring, when the hands of God cup your face and He whispers, “It’s over.” When the adrenaline stops pumping and hot tears are pouring down your cheeks mingled with the ache and agony of having run so hard for so long. Exhilaration takes another breath.

Something you win after you’ve won.

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“There’s a rose garden in a park, and the rose bushes were never trimmed back. From a distance, I noticed the straggly bushes and unkempt look of the place. But when I wandered over, I was left in wonder as I found one beauty after another in the buds that were left to dry naturally.”  — Donna Bearden