Monday, June 9, 2014

You Mustn't Quit

 Lately summer has found me with lots of time on my hands to read books and enjoy a few movies.  For one reason or another, I've discovered an overlapping theme of sadness, sorrow, and sickness in my choice of leisure entertainment here lately.  My first summer read was Ollie Tibbles: The Boy Who Became a Train by Debi Tibbles, after a friend's recommendation.

It's a true story of a mom writing her family's experience of their four year old being diagnosed with a brain tumor.  A heart-wrencher for sure, but truly a good, and what seems to be very honest, picture of their journey.  If you're a mother of little ones you may want to wait until a different phase of life to read, as it could hit a little too close to home.  

Currently I am reading Wonder by R.J. Palacio.  I had seen it on several top adolescent reader lists and as a middle school teacher I wanted to know what all the hype was about.  It's a fabulous book so far!  A realistic fiction piece about a ten year old boy named August, and his experience at going to public school for the first time with a major face deformity from a birth defect.  The challenges he faces from the simple things in life are so real.  I'm planning on reading this one aloud to my 6th graders this next school year.  It's a great life-lesson book. 

Then earlier today I found myself crying through parts of the movie, The Fault in our Stars.  (You should know that I'm not a at all....but this one had me)  I read the book a couple summers ago and found the movie just as good.  

All this to say, I've been reminded of just how hard life can be.  I'm very lucky to think that overall my life has been very easy.  I know I'm not guaranteed that forever and that others haven't been so lucky.  The truth is trials do come in life.  At one point or another, life will be hard.  It might be a mountain or a mole-hill, it may last for a season or a lifetime.  But I just felt God wanted me to share this poem I came across in my daily devotional book yesterday: 

"When things go wrong as they sometimes will, and the road you're trudging seems all uphill. 
When funds are low and the debts are high, and you want to smile but you have to sigh. 
When things are pressing you down a bit, rest if you must, but don't you quit! 
Life is strange with its twists and turns, as every one of us sometimes learns.
And many a failure turns about, when he might have won if he'd stuck it out. 
Don't give up, though the pace seems slow--you might succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than it seems, to a faint and faltering man.
Often the struggler has given up, when he might have captured the victor's cup. 
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down, how close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out--the silver tint of the clouds of doubt. 
You never can tell how close you are, it may be near when it seems afar. 
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit--it's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit."
Author Unknown 

I just thought this was a great poem of perseverance and tenacity in life.  If for no other person but myself I wanted to remember this poem.  I'll never know when I may need it and I have no idea who may be needing it right now, but know that you mustn't quit.  I'm so thankful to serve a God who is in control of all things, including the unknown future.  Wherever you find yourself, whatever battle you're fighting or life-high you're riding, know that God is in the business of healing and redeeming.

Isaiah 12: 2
Surely my God is my salvation; 
I will trust and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation.

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