James 5:11 (ESV)
Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
Here is a great story with a great lesson for each of us.
Some time ago, an old mule fell into an abandoned well which was no longer in use. The farmer who owned him tried and tried to pull the mule up out of the well -- however after many attempts he realized he was not going to be able to rescue his mule. So the farmer decided to solve two problems simultaneously--- by burying the mule in the well. Tragic as it was, he would, bury the mule alive, and in the process, prevent future accidents of this kind by filling up the well hole.
Taking a shovel, the man began to toss shovel fulls of dirt on the animal to bury him. However, following every toss of soil, the stubborn mule simply shook the dirt clean off his back. This caused the floor beneath him to steadily rise. The relentless farmer continued to shovel, while the stubborn mule persisted in shaking off the annoying dirt. This mutual perseverance eventually raised the mule up to ground level, where he could happily walk out of his impossible predicament...free at last.
We all have, somehow or other, fallen into a hole a time or two. Some of us give up after a few attempts to escape, resigning to a state of imprisonment in our predicament -- but this is not God's intent for our lives. His will is for us to persevere -- become stubborn like a mule -- fight, kick, and continually toss the dirt off our backs -- until we get out of the hole!
Life for many of us can be a series of trials, or just one or two seemingly endless ones. But perseverance is an essential quality of true disciples -- and as we press in, press through, and press on, deliverance will finally come, often in the most unexpected way. The floor will rise each and every time we shake off the dirt. So take a lesson from a stubborn mule and a relentless farmer. Be tenacious! Don't let the trials of this life get the better of you.
Dear Lord, give us the strength and endurance to keep moving and not give up. Help us be the encouragement to those around us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.