One of the most tragic maladies I observe is something I’ll term “I can’t endureitis”.  Its symptoms are profound:  giving up, depression, self-harm, self-hatred, hatred of others, detachment, self-absorption, hopelessness, lifelessness.   It often occurs in the midst of a struggle (intense, complicated, self-inflicted, or enduring as it may be),  when what initially began as something that occurred ‘to’ a person seems to transform itself into a living organism that invades body, mind and spirit, and ultimately consumes a life that still has value and purpose.  Waiting to die becomes the end game, even if that death is years down the road.   I, and those whom I love, have stood on the fringes of succumbing to this disease.  Consider David’s words in Psalm 130:  “Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord; Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.”  I read this and I think perhaps David was there.  But even if that is so, he certainly didn’t stay.  Hear his words as he continues: “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope.  I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.” In the midst of his suffering, David made a decision.  He turned outside of himself and kept his eyes on the one who could redeem, rescue and restore.  I have been privileged to stand on the sidelines and watch as those with terminal cancer remain shining lights while walking through the shadow of death; people whom have endured great injustice and have choosen to show mercy and grace; victims who move forward in strength, refusing to continue in weakness, and take back what was stolen, and I am inspired.  My prayer is that we will, like David, not yield to the burdens of this life or the schemes of the Evil One, and endure, for “we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance character; and character, hope.  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.”  Romans 5:4-5

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