Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. -Romans 5:3-4 (New International Version)
So this verse has been running through my mind often recently. And no, not necessarily because I feel I'm suffering, but I seem to be surrounded by examples of this biblical progression.
Paraguay just squeezed past Japan to reach the quarter finals in the World Cup and this concept is racing even faster. After playing a full 90 minutes the game remained 0-0. An additional 2 15 minute periods were added and still, 0-0. So after a full 120 minutes of all out play it came down to penalty kicks. And you guessed it, it was the very last of 5 penalty kicks that finally put Paraguay through to the next round. Not to mention the crazy experience over at Wimbledon with John Isner winning his first round match after playing for 3 days. Of course, as logical creatures, we all know that this form of perseverance does not come about magically, it must be earned. Recently I've been thinking about how nice it would be to have flat abs, but yes, that too comes from suffering (which means I'm just sticking with the box of Little Debbies sent to me from the Fernandes family instead). But oh the hope I would have if my suffering (aka exercise) developed perseverance and perseverance to character.
Until then, my new goal is to see every experience as an opportunity to strengthen my perseverance (and we all know where that leads!)
And again, I should put up a relevant picture, such as Paraguay/Japan or John Isner, but seriously, who doesn't want to look at Ronaldo and Kaka? THIS is why soccer's such an international sensation.