Have you ever had an experience where an old, often used word takes on a whole new personal meaning for you? Right now that word for me is perseverance. Merriam-Webster defines perseverance as a continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition; the action or condition or an instance of persevering.

I have a whole new appreciation for perseverance after 4½ weeks on crutches. I finally had knee surgery last week. Surgery took twice as long as expected and an extra hole was needed to drill through the bone to create a tunnel where they could try to reattach the ripped meniscus in the bone hole they had created. For the surgery to be successful several things need to happen. I need to keep it in a monster brace from my ankle to my hip for 4 weeks 24/7. It needs to be elevated the entire time and iced 50% of the time. And above all I need to make sure that no weight is put on that leg for the entire 4 weeks. It will take all of the above to truly make the surgery successful.

James 1:2-3 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” Being housebound, unable to drive, unable to do stairs, unable to shower or take a bath is a trial. Having one couch where I can sit in one position (sideways, leg elevated) and one bed where I can sleep in one position (on my back, leg elevated) is a challenge. But if I persevere and follow all the rules in the end I will have a knee that has healed.

In what area of your life do you need to persevere right now? A job search? Difficult relationship? Health challenge? Weight loss? Finances? School? Children? It may be the next call, next interview, next day, next year before our persevering finally gets the results we are striving for.

Romans 5:3-4 tells us, “. . . but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. I don’t know about you but I want any suffering that I go through to be used for God’s glory. I do not want it to produce bitterness, anger, impatience and hopelessness in me. I want the perseverance, character and hope that Paul writes about in Romans.

Precious Father, I am choosing to thank you once again for this injury. Thank you for slowing me down and giving me more time with friends and family. Thank you for my current situation that is drawing me closer to you. Please help us Lord to seek you earnestly in the trials and suffering we face. May the process and the end result produce more perseverance, character and hope in us. Amen.