Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith,
who for the joy that was set before him
ENDURED the cross, despising the shame,
and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
~ Hebrews 12:2
When you are certain about why you’re doing what you’re doing, the ability to ENDURE becomes a little more attainable. Jesus knew what was at stake as He moved toward the cross and beyond. He knew what would be accomplished through His death and resurrection. I believe He understood the implications of everything He did and everything the rest of humanity was doing (or not doing) in response to His revolutionary message. But did Jesus ever lose perspective? Did He waver for a moment when He asked the Father if there was another way to fulfill His calling? What was it like to be fully God and fully human in those critical hours before His death? For all the mystery, Jesus firmly resolved to finish what The Father had called Him to. He kept His eyes on the “finish line.” He kept His grasp on what was paramount and He, in harmonious cooperation with The Father, achieved victory.
I like reminding myself of these truths because especially lately, my perspective keeps vanishing. I’ve been easily distracted by a day’s unexpected details, because for months now, my overcrowded schedule has left ZERO margins for error. Consequently, it’s been a deeply disorienting season… there is not a single day that does not have multiple “errors” built into it (duh). So, round the clock I’ve fought to gain and then re-gain perspective, most days coming up woefully short.
At the same time, many, many people in my circle of friends and acquaintances are in seasons they might describe as particularly difficult. “Winter” is lingering, and they are weary. Perspective is illusive.
I’m not made with the capacity to achieve perspective through understanding everything that’s happening around me. I have to find it another way. I have a picture in my mind of being on a ship at sea in a blinding blanket of fog. Jesus is in the crow’s nest atop the mainmast and above the fog. His unimpeded view makes possible my salvation and ability to move. “I can of myself do nothing” becomes especially meaningful in that scenario.
Jesus’ perspective was linked to the joy set before Him. And so is mine. Quite literally, Jesus IS the joy set before me. I wait for Him and the eternal union with Him that is my future. That reality makes the arduous “present” endurable, albeit arguably clunky. Forward motion isn’t always graceful.
Quiet endurance, in other words, the ability to be inwardly settled even in a lengthy and painful storm, can be mine. The founder and perfecter of my faith comforts, strengthens and guides me from above the fog.
Let us run
the race that is set before us,
looking to JESUS.
~ Hebrews 12:1 ~