The story is told of a scientist who conducted a remarkable experiment in his laboratory several years ago. From the ceiling of his work area, he hung an iron ball that weighed 2,000 pounds. Beside the iron ball, he hung a small ball of cork. He then hooked up an electric motor to keep the little cork ball swinging against the 2,000 pound iron ball. After days of constantly hitting the 2,000 pound iron ball with that little, “light-as-a-feather” cork ball, amazingly the iron ball began to move. Soon, that 2,000 pound iron ball was swinging back and forth with a wider and wider movement. The persistence of the little cork ball finally paid off. It’s tapping, ever so gently, finally made that ton of iron start to move.
WHAT’S THAT GOT TO DO WITH US?
Ever feel like giving up? After nearly eight months of Covid-19, and everything that’s happened because of it, I think it would be safe to say we’ve all probably entertained that thought at least once.
But it’s not just the crisis of a crazy virus that causes us to want to quit. Oftentimes, our efforts to make a difference seem to make no difference at all and we are prone to give up.
“What difference does it make?” we ask. Or, “What’s the use?”
We invite our friends again and again to come to church and they never come. We witness relentlessly to people who are unchurched, yet they remain unmoved by the Gospel. We pray fervently and faithfully, but it seems so often our prayers are never heard, much less answered. We try to help people who are hurting and in need, but as soon as they get past their present problems, they’re gone.
“Great churches and great believers are always characterized by great persistence.”
We trust God and step out in faith in our giving, but financial freedom continues to elude us. We study the Word and immerse ourselves day and night in the scriptures, yet still feel so unspiritual and unworthy to be called “godly.” We have problems and circumstances that long ago we handed over to God and yet, they are still here and nothing seems to be getting any better. We teach others the Word but the message doesn’t seem to get through. We preach about commitment and dedication yet seem to see less and less of it. And we finally get to the place where we’re ready to say, “I QUIT!”
BUT WE CAN’T!
Why not? Because one of the marks of a mature believer is PERSISTENCE. Mature believers hang in there when everyone else hangs it up. When others throw in the towel, mature believers grab that towel and wipe off the sweat so we can get back in the ring and go another round. Persistence builds strong believers and strong, persistent believers build great churches. Great churches and great believers are always characterized by great persistence.
Next time you get to feeling the object you're trying to move is too big or the project (or person) you’ve undertaken is just too impossible … remember that little cork ball that moved a 2,000 pound ball of iron. Just keep on keeping on and one day … it’ll move.
The Apostle Paul said, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9 NIV). The harvest is coming if we’ll just hang in there instead of hanging it up.
Keep showing up. Keep doing what’s right. Even when others quit. Keep pressing on even when others have checked out and given up. Keep doing what you know you ought to be doing until the dark gray clouds of discouragement evaporate in the bright warm sun of God’s blessings.
And remember: No resistance can outlast your persistence. Keep on keeping on!
© 2020. Barry L. Cameron
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.