The Home Stretch

Last Sunday, I observed my toddler drifting off to sleep on our way back from church. He’s always determined, it seems, to stay awake through the journey home, a journey of about 30 to 40 minutes depending on the traffic condition. On the drive home, I glance back a few times to check if he’s awake and believe it or not, he’s usually awake for at least two-thirds of the journey. But something ‘magical’ always happens in those last few minutes, and by the time we’re home – he’s fast asleep. It’s hardly ever more than 10 minutes of sleep that he gets, but he is never awake by the time we get home.

And that takes me to my point: finishing any effort – a marathon, a project, a course, whatever it is – always requires a commitment to see through what you started. Perseverance is a powerful virtue in the development of our character, one we must all strive for in our daily lives. It is the deliberate choice to follow through, no matter the adversity or difficulty we face. And it is often the last bit of effort we need to put in that seems to sap our energy the most. Like my son, it is those last few minutes of staying awake till we’re home that is the hardest. That is when the lure of sleep is greatest and determination to stay awake is greatly tested.

Whether learning a skill, getting an education, acquiring experience, building a relationship or working at any defined project, we must learn to persevere through the difficult seasons. Difficulties can help us persevere as we truly define what is more important to us – the ease we crave, or the goal we desire to achieve. While some efforts have a clearly defined end point, others are continuous, like building a relationship. But we must recognize that the gain we seek from nurturing those relationships do not come without persevering through difficult seasons.

As a Christian, perseverance is most important to us because the kingdom we are looking for is heavenly, not of this earth. What God has promised us are not things we can get in this world. So we wait with hope and walk by faith, trusting that what God has promised, he will perform. We look forward to the return of the Lord Jesus and the transformation of our bodies, knowing that His coming is nearer now than when we first believed. And we choose to live as strangers and foreigners in this world, ambassadors of another kingdom. We do all this, knowing that this age is rolling up to a close, and that we are on the home stretch to inheriting God’s eternal kingdom.

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised (Heb 10:35, NIV)

But he who endures to the end shall be saved (Matt. 24:13, NKJV)

And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed (Romans 13:11, NIV)

Cheers to 100, and to 10000!

In the last one month, this blog has hit two major milestones – first a 100 followers and then 10,000 all-time views, all of that in a month of minimal activity. Coming from an unassuming beginning 8 and a half years ago, interspersed with so many weeks and months of inactivity in those years, this means a lot!

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Ramble on…

Do you have a regular time of prayer? Fantastic, if you do! If you don’t, you should consider setting a fixed time of your day aside to talk to your Maker, who hopefully, you also relate with as Father. So, what do you say when you pray? Do you have a routine? Maybe you say the Lord’s prayer or have specific words you use…well, let’s talk about that a little more.

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Does God Understand?

Does Jesus really understand my struggles? Can he actually relate when I am torn between choices or struggling to obey God’s will? Does it make sense to Him or does He shake his head in disdain as I start to lean towards wrong choices? How do I receive His grace?

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Trusting Him in the Dark

Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on their God.
Isaiah 50:10 NIV

Sometimes, the righteous walk in the dark. They deal with uncertainty, feeling their way around and wondering if God has abandoned them. People who revere God and obey His word do find themselves in such places, not because of sin or disobedience, but because we live in a fallen world. But God uses those times for our good.

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Come to Me

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28 NIV

Jesus invitation in Matt. 11 rings loud today as it did on the first day it was spoken. It is an invitation to come away from a life of endless pursuits and burden bearing to a life of rest – of focus on the things that matter more on an eternal scale. It is an invitation to experience catharsis and learn a new way to approach life.

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Hosanna!

It’s Palm Sunday. That special (Sun)day set aside in the year to celebrate the triumphant entry of the Lord Jesus into Jerusalem, just a few days before His crucifixion. The irony of this sequence of events was perplexing for Jesus’ disciples at the time. But today, that turn of events is no longer surprising – we know it was by divine design.

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He Leadeth Me

He leadeth me, He leadeth me
By His own hand He leadeth me
His faithful follower I would be
For by His hand He leadeth me

The title of this post is drawn from an old hymn, whose refrain/chorus is the paragraph above. Today, I invite you to set your mind on the blessed thought that the Lord leads you, through every mountain and valley, through happy and sad, clear and confusing moments alike. Let us ponder together what this means for our lives and how we should respond to God’s leadership.

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Our Father

“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
Matthew 6:9 NIV

Our Father. Such grace! Faith in Jesus opens us up to a new relationship with the Almighty God – a Father-Child relationship. Before Jesus, the Jews worshipped and honoured God but never related with Him as their Father. To them, that would be laying a claim to Divinity. That claim to Divinity is what Jesus has, and offers to everyone who believes in Him – the right to be a child of God.

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Praise You in the Storm

Today’s post comes from one of my favourites songs by contemporary Christian band, Casting Crowns. The song’s theme is maintaining faith in God through difficult circumstances. Praising God is a powerful way to declare our faith especially when we go through difficult seasons. It is our way of saying “God, I trust You, and I know you’ve got me covered.”

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