True life, I’m the girl who wants to quit as things start to get hard. I’m not kidding. If it’s getting difficult and I don’t see a great solution as to how to improve the situation, I want out. I daydream about getting out. My senior year of college, in September, I asked the Lord if I could be done with one of my leadership positions. I was 9 months into a 12-month role. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve heard something from the Lord, but standing in worship on this Thursday evening, I heard God say, “Caitlin, if you think this is the hardest thing you’re ever going to do, you’re sorely mistaken. Stay faithful.” In other words, “I know this is difficult, but believe me, it’s preparing you for harder things in the future. Stay in it and stay faithful.” I wanted permission to quit. To walk away with my dignity intact, being able to say that I did my best, but that wasn’t quite worth it, and God’s response, was, “Stay faithful.” I wish I could tell you the next 3 months were a breeze, but I can’t. In fact, some parts of it got worse. But, God used that experience to bring reconciliation. I look back on at experience and think not of the bad, but of everything good that came out of it, and it is worth it.
I had a similar experience this fall. Things were tough. A great friend told me to honor a commitment I made to the Lord, and some days, I did not know why I was even doing that. There were tears. There were phone call vent sessions. There was fear, insecurity and yuck coming out of my heart during the month of August. It was dark. And yet, in the midst of all of it, I remembered the Lord’s previous words to me, “I know this is difficult, but believe me, it’s preparing you for harder things in the further. Stay in it and stay faithful.” God is faithful, I must be faithful. Today was one of the best days I’ve had in my 13 months of living in Indianapolis, and to think it was great because of something I almost walked away from. Stubbornness, entitlement, frustration and exhaustion are the worst combination. They are the enemy of faithful endurance. They work against the perseverance God desires to cultivate in me and in you.
There are times when the Lord calls us away from beautiful things, and times when He calls us away from bad things. The hardest are when He calls us to stick it out, to finish it out, even when every part of our flesh is screaming to walk away, with our dignity still intact. If it’s ever a battle between my dignity and God’s glory, the likelihood is that God wants to remind me that humility is valued in His kingdom, not high accomplishments. He is the God who endured torture and humiliation to declare that love wins.
I do not deserve to see the fruit of sticking with something that I wanted to walk away from. Instead, because of God’s grace, He allows me to see the benefit because He strengthened me enough to get through it. Staying faithful always proves worth it because He has called me is faithful. God is faithful, I must be faithful.