I’ve been called tenacious a time or two in my life. Okay, a lot! I’m just one of those people who doesn’t give up easily. It’s simply not in my nature to quit.
And that’s a good thing….until it isn’t.
Sometimes I stay in projects too long. I cling to things for dear life because I see the potential in them, I dream of all they could be, but at times that has hindered my willingness to look at the reality of what they are. Sometimes God is asking me to let them go.
So how do we walk this tightrope of being tenacious, not giving up too quickly, vs. quitting the minute things get tough? How do we hang in there for the long haul when we hear God telling us to, fighting off the urge to give up and move on to something else?
The truth is, tightropes aren’t easy to walk on. Following the path God has for us sometimes isn’t easy either. It can feel treacherous and scary at times.
God is teaching me a great deal about this lately. There are things He’s calling me to let go of, their time is over, and there are other areas in my life where He is absolutely saying don’t get off the tightrope, keep walking forward. NOW is the time to be tenacious.
But even for a person who has a propensity for tenacity, it’s hard to hang in there when things are taking longer than I hoped or expected, when I'm not seeing results from my efforts, and when opposition comes against me. You know the struggle, I’m sure.
David, my favorite Psalmist, was somewhat of an expert in walking the tightrope of tenacity. He wrote about it eloquently in many of his Psalms. This “man after God’s own heart” struggled to hang in there and keep going, just like we do.
One of my favorite Psalms with this theme is Psalm 37. In Verse 34, David writes:
“So don’t be impatient for the Lord to act;
Keep moving forward steadily in his ways,
And he will exalt you at the right time.”
Psalm 37:34 (TPT – emphasis added)
I believe the final words in the passage above are the ones that can speak life into our weary souls. They can help us keep on course when times get tough, when we are at the brink of quitting.
God’s timing is never our timing.
God is never in a hurry, and He’s never late. He is orchestrating things we can’t even begin to understand. In a world where we don’t want to wait for anything, we have to make a conscious and determined effort to trust His timing so we can fight the urge to jump off the tightrope to get to easier, safer ground.
If you need a little inspiration as you wait for God’s timing, remember Moses in the desert with a bunch of whiny Israelites for 40 years. Remember Noah getting made fun of for 40 years as he built the arc. And don’t forget Abraham and Sarah waiting until they were in their 90’s to have that child God promised.
Talk about tenacious!
As I read the words of advice from David, “keep moving forward steadily in his ways,” I can’t help but think of the old fable about the tortoise and the hare. The tortoise wasn’t the fastest, and there’s absolutely no way he should have won the race. But he had one thing going for him, he was tenacious. He didn’t quit. He didn’t stop and take a nap like the rabbit did; he simply kept moving forward, slowly and steadily, but still moving forward.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe there are times in our lives when God tells us to run, not walk, to the opportunities He has placed before us. Sometimes we absolutely have to act quickly or we might miss the blessing.
Yet there are times when slow and steady wins the race. And I don’t know about you, but somehow that helps take the pressure off a bit.
If you feel stuck in a “slow and steady” season, I totally understand. I’m right there myself. I’ve wanted to jump off the tightrope and go take a nap like the rabbit did.
But let me encourage you, my friend, as I encourage myself: Let’s make the life-changing decision that if God has called us to do this, we are going to keep going. We are going to put one foot in front of the other in obedience. We are going to trust God’s timing is perfect.
We are going to CHOOSE to stay on the tightrope and be tenacious!
Hugs and love,