Perseverance and persistance
Romans 5:3,4 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character, and character, hope.
John 13:34,35 “… A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word and in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
Sometimes, I think we need to see people actually living their lives like Christ in order to fully understand how a true follower shines. They do not necessarily have to be missionaries, ministers, deacons, and the like, but ordinary people who KNOW the love of Christ and share it with each encounter they have. I think if I had never seen the love, grace, and welcoming of many people, I would not truly understand how I am supposed to live like Him. Fortunately, I know several folks who show it in how they live their lives.
But I have been blessed to see, experience and feel that love. Oh, please do not misunderstand and think they are holier-than-thou, or supremely perfect they make no errors, or have never sinned or regret decisions they have made. These are folks who have stumbled, had their share of hardships, made mistakes, sometimes, according to them, grievous errors, but have sought forgiveness, and then carried on with their lives, including the consequences of bad decisions. But they go through life with a smile, warmth, a generosity of spirit, a grace, you can FEEL, experience, and then say, “Oh, that is a true of example of Christ. That is peace, love and serenity.” And, at least for me, I want that. I want my life to show that, to be an example, and for folks to ask why have you got such a glow, peace, warmth to others.
Because I am shy by nature, I don’t reach out fully initially to others; a casual smile, but don’t engage unless first approached by another. So, that shyness makes me wonder how many opportunities have I passed by because I did not persist and persevere in making that grace an outward part of my being? I have not persevered and persisted in reaching OUT to others; have only waited on them to reach to me first.
There have been several persons in my life who were wonderful examples of Christ’s love, but the most special had a glow, smile, and warmth that radiated from her, and folks were drawn to her. She beat breast cancer, but when she was supposed to get the news of being cancer free, she was told she had colon cancer. She had treatment and was told they “had it all,” and six months later a new lesion was found which meant she had a permanent colostomy—a major body image change to deal with, as well as the recuperation. But they “got it all.” Until she went for that six month scan of tests and was told she had several lesions in her liver and a couple in her lungs. She had maybe six months to live.
Even when she was ill, and not looking sick, folks asked about her health, she would answer truthfully that she might be tired, but all was well. I think all those people looked at her and believed she was recovering and would be around for years, because she didn’t dwell on not feeling well, but on giving others a beautiful smile, a warm few comments, asking about their family or situation, and showing the love she had for them.
She persevered and persisted giving grace and love to others. She is one of the best examples I have ever seen or experienced of Jesus’ love for us. I want to persevere toward that same manner. What a wonderful way to show people Christ!
Dawn was my best example of Christ’s true nature, and very important to “mybellaviews.”