Yesterday, we talked about how being stubborn in the right areas is a good thing, as long as our hearts remain soft toward people. To this end, one of my favorite childhood stories (which I’m sure I tell from the pulpit at least once a year) involves a fishing trip I went on when I was eleven years old. The day started like any other out on the water, but this time, my dad and my best friend were with me. A while after we set out, I felt a tug on my pole, and I didn’t think anything of it. However, as I began wrestling with whatever was on the other end of the line, I knew it must be huge. Back and forth the creature pulled me, and from one side of the boat to the other — first for half an hour, then an hour, and then two hours! By the time I finally reeled it close enough to see what it was, I realized it was a shark! Though I was already exhausted from the struggle, once I beheld what I had hooked, I kept fighting. While my dad suggested that I hand the pole to my friend, there was no way I was going to give it up now. After all, this was my conquest, and I wasn’t about to surrender it to anyone else. Although it practically killed me, after nearly three hours of straining every muscle in my body, breathing in diesel fumes, and being seasick, I finally got that monster in the boat, and I was ecstatic! It turns out it was a thresher shark, and it weighed 270 pounds and was almost thirteen feet long. But more than just a prize catch, this day served as a rite of passage to manhood for me, because I learned that being stubborn in accomplishing what I set my sights on was an important part of personal growth.
My friend, be a person of Godly grit and persistence. Though others may mock you or tell you to “throw in the towel,” the Lord beckons you to keep holding on until you’ve reached the finish line. You’re closer than you think you are, and while it may take every ounce of physical, emotional, and spiritual strength that you have, Jesus is with you in the boat. He’s providing the stamina, courage, and wisdom to push through, and He is using current trials to equip you to obtain future triumphs. When you’re stubborn in accomplishing the fulfillment of your calling, you will do more for His Kingdom that you ever thought possible!