Dr. Custer Reynolds, former Vice President and Academic Dean of Asbury University, was my spiritual mentor as well as a dear friend. Custer grew up on Squabble Creek, deep in the hills of Eastern Kentucky. He was one of the wisest men that I ever knew. Like Jesus, he taught many life lessons by telling stories and using parables. On day, he was sharing with me the necessity of sticking to a job until it was completed. He told me the following story.
A poor mountain boy was given a homework assignment by his teacher. He was asked to define the word ‘perseverance’ and to use it in a sentence. He returned the next day without completing the assignment. In tears, the little boy told the teacher that they didn’t have a dictionary in his home and his parents didn’t know the word. The compassionate teacher consoled the boy. She asked him to sit down by her and she would help him.
She took an envelope and addressed it to a person in California. She then explained to the boy that to send the letter to that address you had to put a stamp on the envelope and put in the mailbox. The stamp would then stick to the envelope until it went all the way across the country and arrived at the California address. The teacher told the boy that the stamp’s sticking to the envelope was an example of ‘perseverance’.
Scripture speaks often about the necessity of spiritual perseverance / endurance:
- “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12, NIV)
- “As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” (James 5:11, NIV)
- “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12:1, NIV)
- “But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 24:13, BSB)
Prayer: Lord, help us to be like a postage stamp. May we stick to our spiritual responsibilities until we arrive at our final destination.
~ Brother Roy