Hi, I'm Joni and this week, we’re enjoying some beautiful poems.
Back when I was going through breast cancer surgery, I received really wonderful get-well cards. But there was one in particular my oldest sister, Linda, sent me that I have kept. The front of the card was covered with large letters that simply read: Never give up, never, never, never give up. And I loved it! It was, of course, a take on Winston Churchill’s speech that he made in 1941 to the boys at Harrow School. He said, "Never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.”
You know, the idea of not giving up is just part of my nature. Remember, I was an athlete when I was on my feet, and sweating out 25 laps on the hockey field was just something you did! That stick-to-it way of approaching problems really helped me after my diving accident back in 1967—lifting weights in physical therapy wasn’t easy, but I had that mindset: never give up, never, never, never give up. Not long ago I found an anonymous poem that speaks to this perspective on trials, and it goes like this…
When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh.
When care is pressing you down a bit.
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns
As every one of us sometimes learns.
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out:
Don't give up though the pace seems slow—
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
And you never can tell how close you are.
It may be near when it seems so far:
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.
Great poem, huh? Well that sentiment is reflected so powerfully in Philippians chapter 3 where you can almost picture the apostle leaning his shoulder into a trial and writing, “… I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
You have to remember that Paul wrote this from a jail cell. Bad food, disgusting smells, no more the excitement and adventure of a missionary journey… but nowhere in this passage do you even get the hint that he felt like throwing in the towel. His was a never-give-up attitude. And just in case there were those who felt fainthearted, he wrote in the next verse, “All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you may think differently, that too God will make clear to you.” Translation there? Mature Christians do not give up. People whose faith is strong, never give in.
So, friend, whatever you’re facing today, keep straining on, because “you never can tell how close you are. It may be near when it seems so far.” Would you like a copy of this poem to tape on the wall of your jail cell (said tongue-in-cheek)? Then visit my radio page today at joniandfriends.org – it’s yours for the downloading. And think about posting it on your Facebook … it just might spur on a weak believer "for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
© Joni and Friends
- Your email address will not be published with your comment or be displayed anywhere on our website.
- We do not rent or sell your personal information to other companies or individuals.