Don't Ever Give Up
We do not live this life for the accolades of men. Rather, we live it for the sheer joy in the living. And this, to the glory of God.
C.S. Lewis said the weight of glory is to be known by God. To be famous for him. How freeing!
When my daughters get frustrated with their school work or piano lessons or soccer practice, I remind them to work not for anyone or anything else but for God. And when we work our hardest and give it our best, that pleases God. I love seeing how their eyes lighten. Their shoulders relax.
The day I defended my doctoral thesis I was more nervous than any time in my life. Was my work good enough? Academic enough? Could I defend it well enough? Was I enough?
The first words out of one of my examiner's mouths was, “Tim, what you’ve got here is good enough for the PhD."
My fears subsided. My shoulders relaxed.
And we talked about three years worth of toil, sacrifice, disappointment, long nights, early mornings, lonely times in the library, lonely walks trying to figure things out, beautiful times of discussion with my wife and friends. And all the doubts that plagued me throughout, wondering, “Was I good enough?”
When we finished the oral examination the examiners congratulated me with handshakes and said, “Well done, Tim. Well done.”
We parted ways, and I walked outside and walked across the Waterloo Bridge, stopped in the middle of it, faced London, and bent over and wept. The loud sloppy kind of weeping.
I called my wife who was waiting for the results back in the U.S. I cried like a little boy and in that moment felt the love and devotion and the encouragement and the grace of everyone who loved me enough to push me on and on.
Today, you might be in the middle of a few years of hard work, of toil, of disappointment, of loss, of loneliness, and you might feel like no one cares, or that your efforts have gone unnoticed.
But don’t believe it, my friend.
Don’t believe the voices of doubt that climb inside your head.
Don’t believe the whispers of people who only want to bring you down so they can feel raised up.
Don’t believe the lies of the world that limit you, seek to silence you, attempt to discourage you.
You are fierce.
You are wonderfully made.
You are God’s friend.
You are God’s treasure.
You are God’s pleasure.
You are famous to Him.
You are worth the fight.
And nothing, not height nor depth, nor sword, nor fears of today or worries of tomorrow, not demons nor angels, not hell, no powers from above or below the earth, nothing can separate you from God’s love.
And this time, this moment, this day is no different.
In your toil and hard work, remember that feeling when His pleasure rises inside of you, and you feel the moment of your creation, the whisper of God in your heart saying, "For this I made you." Run towards it. And give it everything you’ve got.
Because, like my examiner said, what you’ve got here, my friend is enough. It is enough.
And it is not only enough, it is the glory set inside of you. The glory with that can move mountains, create worlds, and raise us from the dead.
You are not dead, my friend. You are alive. Now go out there and live like it is so.