Lent Week 1 – Perseverence
Every week during lent we will be posting a short devotional thought which we hope you will find a blessing.
‘And let us run with perseverence the race marked out for us…’ Hebrews 12: 1
When I was about six years old, I learnt to ride a bike. I had a very special ‘Aunty’, a missionary called Joan Evans, who worked alongside Mum and Dad in India for some years. She had a soft spot for me and one day agreed to help me to ride a bike. But there was a catch. I had to learn in one day, and if I did, she would buy me a bar of chocolate. Now for those of you that don’t know me, I am a bit of a chocoholic and in India I don’t remember having chocolate that often. In fact, I used to dream of heaven being full of chocolate and chewing gum as both seemed hard to find where we lived in Purulia. Anyway, the day arrived, and Aunty Joan brought a bike over. This was in the days before small bikes and helpful stabilizers, and I remember my legs being too short for me to sit on the seat. There was a gentle grassy slope to the side of the bungalow and she positioned the bike at the top and I got on. I’m not sure how many times I wobbled down the slope before I managed to keep my balance. It felt like all day, but I had this picture of a bar of chocolate fixed in my mind, so I persevered in my race against the clock to master the bike in one day.
I did learn to ride and I managed it within the deadline, so Aunty Joan brought me my reward though interestingly the memory of learning to ride is stronger than the memory of eating the chocolate. I think the process was more fun. That particular ‘race’ only took one day. Paul talks of our life as a race, urging us on to persevere, to never give up, to follow the example of Jesus. The verse continues, ‘for the joy that was set before him he endured the cross.’
Life isn’t all about bikes and chocolate, and running our own particular race can be hard, but Jesus urges us on. He knows we can persevere with His help, and He will be there at the finishing line to cheer us on.
Jenny Hawke – Extract from ‘Elephants in the Rush Hour’
Lord, would you spur me on,
run with me on the flat,
and help me jump the hurdles?
I need to follow your pace
and keep in step with you,
so I don’t get breathless
at the first sign of trouble.
This race we run together
has been set by you
and I need to get into my stride.
I hear you urging me on towards
the finishing line,
ready to welcome me home.
Teach me to enjoy the full race
and not wish it over too soon,
enjoying the scenery,
the wind on my face,
and the horizon stretching away in
front of me.
Let’s join in prayer today for the staff at Purulia Hospital, for Dr Joydeepa and Dr Famkima Darlong and their team as they meet the needs of people with leprosy on our behalf this week. Pray for Christ to sustain them, for them to be aware of His presence and peace as they oversee the Out Patients Department, carry out ward rounds, deliver surgery and manage the finance and day to day running of this hospital.