By Gary Piper of Fort Gratiot, Michigan, USA

By your endurance you will gain your souls.  Luke 21:19

Don’t you just love it when you rediscover something Jesus said but you knew all along? It’s like a burst of energy when your strength is gone. It’s like a gust of wind causing your kite to soar higher. I found “something Jesus said” in Luke: “By your endurance you will gain your souls.”

Years ago I was walking to an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon. We were to set the date for the first of several surgeries on my hips. The decision I made to have the surgery did not come easily.

The question I wrestled with was whether I would quit walking in pain or face my fear of the future.

Walking out that morning I remember thinking my time of enduring pain and fear was ending. At the same time, deep in my heart I felt Jesus smiling at me.

After surgery I faced another period of endurance—artificial hips are not as good as something God made. Since that first life-changing surgery there have been many times when I’ve prayed, “I am tired of enduring, I want to quit.” Yet just before quitting, deep inside I hear one word, “Don’t!”

If you are on the verge of quitting, I have one word for you—don’t! If you need a reason to endure to the end, I have one more word for you. The word will give you the strength to take one more step and begin a new life of endurance. The word is “Jesus.”

Prayer for Peace:

Enduring God, thank you for sending Jesus into our lives to give us strength. Thank you for helping us walk toward his peace, step by faithful step.

Spiritual Practice for the Week: Connecting with God as Center

Each day this week connect with God through journal writing. Use a notebook, journal, computer, or any available paper. Prayerfully center on your intent to open yourself to God’s presence and share what flows from your heart and mind. Your “letter to God” might include thoughts, questions, feelings, needs, artwork, quotes, and scriptures, or it may take the form of a prayer, psalm, or poem.

Try to write at least five minutes each day. What do you experience? Is this an effective way for you to connect with God? What surprises you? What new images or questions from God emerge? What deepens or changes in your relationship with God, Christ, Spirit?

Peace Covenant:

Today, God, I will take one more step toward peace.

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