Do you ever feel like you are trying to finish something and no matter how hard you try you just can’t get anywhere? It is kind of like running on a treadmill or the classic hamster running inside of it’s caged wheel.
Lately, we have really felt that way at our house! We are still in the process of potty training Landon. This has gone on for over 3 years now. (He is five and has autism). He is currently at the stage where he thinks it’s fun to take off his diaper in the middle of the night. AND create his own artwork. I will stop explaining right there.
While it might be pretty humorous to read about, it is hard to live with day in and day out!! It has been downright crazy lately!! Trying to potty train an autistic child, who is extremely ADHD, and doesn’t sleep well at night, has felt impossible lately. We try everything we can think of to accomplish the goal of getting Landon potty trained. But we just can’t get there. And yes honestly it is mostly to avoid having to clean up his….artwork. We even had to rip up the carpeting in his room. We attempted to stain the concrete flooring underneath. (This was unsuccessful at first attempt, but that is another story.)
I think all of us have been there in the middle of a problem we can’t fix. We try and try to fix it and we just can’t seem to resolve it no matter what we do. Some of us have really huge obstacles that we just can’t see past and have no idea how they can ever be resolved. Things like health problems, problems in our families, or problems on our job. We feel like we are a car stuck in the mud spinning our wheels but never getting anywhere. We ask God to help us- to make the problem go away quickly- but it seems like nothing changes. We feel like throwing in the towel and giving up. And that is okay to feel that way. But don’t do it! Don’t quit. Don’t ever quit.
I was in Wal-Mart a couple of years ago walking past the clearance section. A pink, $3 t-shirt caught my eye so I picked it up out of the stack. What was written on the t-shirt jumped out at me. It said “Don’t Ever Quit”. So simple, but so true. At that moment, it was the encouragement I needed.
I think we all want to “see results” when we put in so much effort. Could it be that we are getting results, just not the results we wanted? Are we accomplishing the goal that God wants? Because of some trial or difficulty do we have more patience, kindness, more perseverance, more empathy?
Maybe we were so focused on completing one goal, our goal, we weren’t even aware that God was accomplishing a different goal in us. His goal. He was changing our character. He was making lasting improvements in us for the better. One day, when we are far past the obstacles we are facing now, if we don’t quit, we’ll see then that the goal that was met in us was far greater than the goal we had for ourselves. God’s goal for us will last forever. But for now…
13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.