When I finished seminary, the average time a graduate spent in pursuit of ministry was just five years. Even after countless hours of formal education and the sacrifice of months spent studying and training, the unforeseen yet inevitable challenges of doing the Lord’s work in a fallen world are too much for many. And unfortunately, this isn’t just true in ministry. Most people stay at a job for an average of four years before moving on in search of something better. And while this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it speaks to the truth that consistency in any endeavor is hard, because it comes at a cost. In whatever we undertake, there’s a “honeymoon” period when things are new and exciting, and the novelty is always exhilarating. However, with time and the passing of seasons, smooth roads become bumpy, and scuffs and bruises are a natural consequence. No matter how much we idealize, people disappoint us, and the “grass becomes greener” on the other side. Nevertheless, when we move to a place that looks more promising, the mirage of perfection we pursued usually disappears, and reality finds us facing the same kinds of problems again. Knowing this, the best way to genuinely inherit abundant life is to keep going, even when the going gets tough. Nothing worthwhile is born when the path is smooth — true grit is cultivated when we resolve to remain committed to the journey, despite the pits of pain and adversity.
My friend, many forces in the world tempt you to give up, but good things come to those who keep going. Life is hard, especially now, but you have the honor of walking with the Creator of the Universe, and He is passionate about helping you through. Your Savior wants to see you succeed, and He promises to fill your heart with the strength you need to press on, even when you feel like you can’t take another step. Don’t surrender your blessings by quitting prematurely. Instead, seek His way and ask Him to illuminate His perfect will in you. Although circumstances try to knock you down, His grace is sufficient, and He beckons you to get back up and stay the course so you can finish in a manner that motivates and inspires others.