Never, Ever Quit

Years ago I had the privilege to serve as a youth minister. To this day, some of my favorite memories come from that whirlwind season of my life. Youth ministry is no picnic. From the outside looking in, many may think you just hang out with teens and eat a lot of pizza. But I will be the first to tell you that youth ministers have one of the most challenging positions on the planet. Yet it's one of the most important positions.

After years of teaching, training, events, outreaches, missions trips, fundraisers, suicide scares, two crushing teen funerals, and more relationship drama then I can recall … I began to weary. 

I remember one day going to FedEx to pick up a package. I walked into a quiet shipping hub and handed the worker my pickup slip. She simply walked to the back room, and returned with my box. She handed me the package and said, “Have a nice day.” I will never forget how much I envied her. I thought, “Wow! What a great job! That is so easy, so simple, so quiet.” I allowed my mind to travel down the road of “what if.” But the Holy Spirit didn’t allow me to get too far. 

I was reminded of something that Pastor Kevin had said years prior about dealing with thoughts of quitting. He said, “You can quit every night. But when morning comes…get back to work.” I found comfort just knowing that I wasn’t alone in my struggles of throwing in the towel. 

We all deal with tough times and we all search for the path of least residence. Whether it is a job, a marriage, a financial commitment, the challenge to stay and stick it out can seem overwhelming. But let me remind you that things that come easy, aren’t usually worth much. 

The Apostle Paul was very familiar with the weariness of drama and issues, but he dealt with it by refocusing on the future. He writes, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:9-10)

Paul didn’t dwell on the past, he turned his attention toward the reward waiting for him at the end. And that caused him to forget those things which are behind and reach forward to those things which are ahead, and press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Read Philippians 3:13-14)

Our ability to value what is right above what is convenient is essential to learning faithfulness. And setting our mind on what is eternal will help stir up a supernatural strength to carry us through testing times. This is why prayer is so important. 

Though I envied the FedEx worker that night, I came to my senses and realized that the eternal reward for influencing and leading people to Jesus was the greatest gift I could ever deliver. The next morning I went back to work, and have been ever since. 

Be encouraged that no matter what challenge you face today, don’t quit. Fix your eyes on the eternal reward for doing what is right, even when it’s difficult. Forgive someone that doesn’t deserve it, love someone who’s been abandoned, reach out to those who are alone. 

Let’s pray: "Jesus, I look to You! You are the One I seek to serve and please with my life. Today, help me show your love and faithfulness through thick and thin. Supply me with supernatural strength and wisdom for every challenge. Amen."