Faithfulness is a lost art in our culture of instant gratification. The same desires that make us impatient to get what we want when we want it cause us to give up on people when we find ourselves facing friction, conflict, and an inevitable struggle.
But what would happen if we, like Mary, determined to be faithful, to be devoted, through thick and thin, through good and bad. Much like the vows we make when we enter into a marriage covenant, God calls us to a deep and committed to relationship with Him. And while His faithfulness is never-ending, ours is fickle. That is why we must make great effort to be devoted to Christ not just when life is good and following Him is easy, but when life is overwhelming and giving up is easy.
"Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him." -James 1:12
I think it’s safe to say that we all know of an area in our lives that God is calling us to surrender to Him. And we all believe surrender is worth it. At least, we want to believe that. But still, we struggle. Surrender requires faith, and faith has to be exercised to grow. And so when the extra strain is placed on our faith, we can often falter, wrestle, and be tempted to collapse under the pressure.
And on top of the pressure we feel from the feeling of losing control, the fear of the unknown, and the struggle of wrestling with what we really believe about God’s nature and character is the horrible feeling of isolation and loneliness.
I have a feeling you know exactly what I’m talking about.
My father had many verses that were meaningful to him, that he drew encouragement from. But the most meaningful thing to him in his relationship with God was this simple word, “hupomeno.” It quickly became the theme of his life, and he lived it in full, to his last breath.
from hupó = under, as in under the rule of someone + méno = to abide or remain)
- literally to remain under, but not simply with resignation, but with a vibrant hope.
The idea of enduring is not just to "grin and bear it"
but to remain under trials in a such a way that we glorify God
as we learn the lessons the trials are meant to teach us,
instead of seeking ways to get out from under
the trials and be relieved of the pressure.
Examples in scripture
I am constantly inspired by the meaning of this word to choose hope, to choose trust, and to choose God. I am inspired by my father’s example, and how he endured all things with hope, with expectation of God’s deliverance – and how God continually proved faithful to His promises in each and every trial. I hope to live my life in such a way as to inspire others the way that my father inspired me.
One way to remind myself to keep perspective is a bracelet which says “hupomeno.”
I’m now selling those bracelets for $6 on Etsy. You can purchase them at my store, TheSurrenderedLifeCo.
In a word: passionate.