Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 2 Timothy 2:3 (NRSV)

 

The Bible uses the language of the common person. Jesus’ parables often used an agricultural theme. He talked about planting and reaping. Paul, who often used lofty words, employs a military motif in this verse.

 

One day I was sitting in my therapist’s office. Things were not going well with me. I was terribly depressed. For a fleeting moment, I feared that I might have to be hospitalized. Sensing my pain, my therapist, out of the blue, asked me to name one of my strengths. The first thing that came to my mind was endurance. It was as much a wish as a reality. We talked about the qualitative and quantitative aspects of endurance.

 

A soldier must have a quality of endurance that will allow him to overcome all obstacles in the way of his achieving his ultimate goal, victory. My ultimate goal is to live with Christ forever. The temporary pain I endure in my conflict with a mental illness will end someday. My goal is to develop the character needed to endure to the very end.

 

Combat can last for a long time, even for years. The quantity of endurance that I possess will determine the degree to which I will outlast my chemical imbalance. But it is also endurance under fire. I have to find strategies to help me make it through to final victory.

 

Please pray along with me: “Dear Jesus, thank You for Your Word that encourages me to remain steadfast to the very end. When I become discouraged, let something from the Bible trigger a good thought in my mind. Help me never to look back, but always to look forward to what is in store for me. Amen.”

 

-John Lashbrook