Never … Ever … Give Up

This is a "rerun" from a few years ago.  I felt it would be a good devotional to post again. 

We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord's dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.  James 5:11 (New American Standard Bible)

There is a story I once heard about Winston Churchill.  While it has its basis in truth, the version told to me was not quite accurate.  However, even in its somewhat distorted version, it’s a good story.

Seems, in the midst of WWII, Winston Churchill was giving a graduation address at a school in England.  Introduced, he walked up to the podium and looked out upon the audience.  In his deep solemn voice, the words “Never give up,” rang out.  He turned and walked back to his chair and sat down.  The master of ceremonies, thinking that Churchill misunderstood his role as the main speaker, walked over to him, and whispered in his ear.  Churchill stood up, walked back to the podium.  Again, looking out across the audience he spoke.  “Never, ever give up.”  He once again returned to his seat.

While those words were actually uttered in a speech by Churchill, albeit a much longer one, the theme is pertinent to those of us with chronic pain and illness.

Many of us get to the point of wanting to give up.  Life looks hopeless.  We feel helpless and useless.  We may wonder to our selves, “Why bother going on?”

There are no easy answers.  Yet, God, like the master of ceremonies whispers into our ear.  “You’re not finished here yet.  There is sometime more for you to do.”  And we rise up inside ourselves and ponder on the words, “Never, ever give up.”

“But why go on?”  We might question.  “What is the point?”

When my children were little, I used to tell them that I believed that God has a purpose for creating each one of us.  If we were unimportant, we would not have been called into being.  If we are here – there is a reason.  When that reason has been accomplished, God will lead us home.  

You may not understand the in’s and out’s of why you are suffering, of why life is turning out the way it is.  Yet, God does.  And if you are reading this, there is still a reason for you to be here.  We may never know in this lifetime, why our lives have been such as they have.  We may struggle with wondering why and the reasons for going on.

I’d ask that you listen to Churchill’s words.

“Never, ever give up.”

The story isn’t over yet.  

Let God create the ending.

Father God, moments come upon us when we simply want to give up.  We are truly heavy-burdened and weary.  Give us the courage, the grace, and the mercy to endure. And when we see someone who is at their breaking point, help us to be wise enough to whisper in their ear, "never - ever give up." Help us to remember that each day that we awaken to, is a day we were called to live in Your name. Amen and amen.

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