Ivy is one of my favorite plants for many reasons. However, the trait that I find most appealing is its tendency to endure. This particular plant has endured both drought and record rains. It has also survived scorching temperatures as well as the record lows of just last week. It is not the fastest growing plant I have but it is the hardiest. It has even managed to turn colors in its fight for survival yet it still lives!
In fact, most ivy is hard to kill. You pull it up by the roots and you think it’s gone. But look around in that same area a few months later…and it’s there once more! Its roots dig deep. Its grasp is tenacious. How much better could we be if only we would do the same?
Jesus teaches in Mark 4 about the Word of God and how it is liken to a seed sown on different ground. Sometimes our human failings occur not because we aren’t receptive to the Word of God; it is instead our failure to endure.
“These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.” Mark 4:16-17
Notice, that particular verse does not say if tribulation or persecution arises but when.
We will all experience adversity or trials that come against us. That’s just life. Whatever change you think you need to solve a current problem, that change will most likely have another set of “problems” attached to it. Our goal in life should not be to have a “problem-free” existence.
Instead, it should be to gain maturity in Christ and weather our droughts, storms or whatever we are facing relying on God with faith and having enough hope to stay the course God has for us. It is when we are able to continue through our trials with the proper attitude and finish our race that we are victorious.
My ivy grows slowly, but it continues to grow.
Some things you may be hoping for or working toward may progress slowly but don’t give up on the dreams God has placed within you. If He has given them to you, He has also provided the means to accomplish them.
If you endure.
Joseph endured to see his dream fulfilled. Christ endured that we may live life abundantly. God is with us as well when we trust Him and endure.
“Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end [intended by] the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.” James 5:11
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares [us], and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1 NKJV