Keep Trying, and Don't Give Up

Earlier this month, my family left for vacation. My younger brother was getting married, and we would be gone for 5 days. My neighbor agreed to water to garden in the backyard, but I forgot to ask her to water the front flower beds. When we returned home, I realized my mistake. Our beautiful mum plant was dead. Granted, I had purchased it on clearance, so it was already a bit fragile, but it had been growing steadily. I had been so excited to see its full bloom!
And now it was dead.
So I thought. . .

A couple days later, I noticed one strong stem growing out of the mum. It was alive! Despite the odds, this strong stem survived and was reaching towards the sky. What an example to me of perseverance despite hard conditions. 

In the midst of our trials, we might feel the urge to give up. I almost threw this plant into the compost bin quite a few times, and luckily my procrastination allowed me to see the plant's fighting spirit. When all seemed lost, there was still hope! Aren't our lives like that at times?

We all experience heartache and pain, but eventually the darkness clears and the sun shines through. How does this happen? It happens as we seek for hope and joy. Look for the positive in the midst of the negative, and your spirit will be lifted. Perseverance is possible through hope. For example:
-A college student promises herself the reward of a new puppy after her finals are over. That hopeful future makes the endless studying bearable. 
-A husband finally hears the pur of an engine he's been working on in the garage, after spending hours on tedious repair. What a joyful sound!

Without hope, perseverance has no meaning. It's just drudgery. Hope and goals solidify perseverance. Religious leader Craig Zwick counsels, "Sometimes we need a tangible way to measure success. If we can feel good about our efforts every day, then even in the most difficult circumstances we can have that tangible feeling of success.  . . We grow when we have to overcome pains of endurance—that’s perseverance. Impressive results may not come every day or even every week, but we need to hang in there."

So. . . hang in there. Be the strong flower stem that overcomes odds. Keep trying, and don't give up.

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