As this unusual and unexpected year draws to a close — and as my “One Daily Choice” blog series ends — I pray you and I will remain steadfast.
Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. —1 Corinthians 15:58
This one verse contains at least three mandates for the lives of believers:
Be Steadfast: Feet planted firmly, no wavering and fickle folly—“immovable.” Know what you believe and live it. Discover what God is calling you to and do it.
Be Superb: Are you “always excelling in the work of the Lord”? No shortcuts just to get by. Fully soaked in the moment, wringing every single life lesson from the challenge. Do more than is called for. As the sign on my desk says, “Be kinder than necessary.”
Be Significant: Your steadfastness today has ramifications for a future you will never see—“in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” What we do matters. How we live can literally change the world. Moving forward is a choice you will never regret. Because significance is far more important than success.
As 2021 began, we literally had no idea how the days would unfold. I’m so thankful I did not know. Every single day I prayed for (and received) soul strength.
We can be steadfast not only during critical pandemics, but also in the midst of mundane challenges of complicated relationships, financial juggling, discipline fails, professional discouragement, and professional affirmation. The truth is we have countless opportunities to choose steadfast. Every. Single. Day.
As we say farewell to the old year and welcome in the new year, will you dig deep and summon up every single ounce of strength and courage to persevere? To launch forward into the life God has planned for you—full of drama and discouragement, daring and delight?
My favorite visual of what steadfast looks like comes from a scene in the film The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s book. The returning king Aragorn (played by actor Viggo Mortensen) is on his horse, rallying the riders behind him against the forces of evil. His men are greatly outnumbered by the evil Orcs, and the battle seems hopeless. But when Aragorn speaks, he becomes the king—the role he was called to play in this epic:
“I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me . . . A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship. . . . But it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good earth—I bid you stand!”
The Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King, screenplay by Fran Walsh and directed by Peter Jackson
And with those words he leads the charge against the enemy, with ultimate triumph.
Oh friend, I know life is difficult. These past two years have been hard, and there’s no guarantee next year will be better. We are constantly surrounded by people and circumstances that leave deep soul wounds and render us battle weary. And sometimes we feel we simply cannot take it any longer.
One day our courage may fail. One day we may forsake friends, fellowship, and faith. But, dear one, it is not this day!
Today and Tomorrow may we live well with integrity and honor and endurance because our story matters to God and to those who come behind us.
Lord, thank You for teaching me what it takes to stand with perseverance with You always by my side. Help me in the days ahead to make wise choices that can transform my life into one of strength, serenity, and steadfast faithfulness. I am so grateful for such lessons and more from the Christ Child. Amen.
May the grace of Christ, the love of God, and the friendship of the Holy Spirit bring you comfort and strength, Lucinda
NOTE: I will be taking a Blog Break during January and post only rarely on the socials; but I hope to see you again with weekly Encouraging Words sometime in February. Stay Warm. Stay Well. And thank you again for reading.
“Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity and Strength”
©2021 Lucinda Secrest McDowell www.LucindaSecrestMcDowell.com
Lucinda Secrest McDowell is a storyteller and seasoned mentor who engages both heart and mind while “Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength.” She has authored 15 books including “Soul Strong – 7 Keys to a Vibrant Life” and “Life-Giving Choices – 60 Days to What Matters Most.” She writes from “Sunnyside” cottage in New England and shares encouraging words at LucindaSecrestMcDowell.com
Want to read all of the “One Daily Choice” Blogs? Click HERE to read as each one goes live. These 13 weeks of blogs — adapted from Lucinda’s award-winning book “Life-Giving Choices” — come out each Wednesday morning through December 29. Thanks for reading. Click HERE to add your email to get blogs weekly in your in box.