As a woman ages, there are certain subjects that she is able to address that would have been out of her zone when she was younger. One such subject is longevity. I’ve lived long enough now to say I’ve experienced longevity in:
- Life! Creeping up on 60 years is a blessing from the Lord!
- Marriage! Thirty-seven years and counting!
- Ministry! Thirty-seven years as a pastor’s wife.
I’m not an expert in any area, but I’ve been through much in each. I’m thankful for the things the Lord has taught me.
Recently my husband was asked to come speak at a church on this very subject and I was privileged to give a testimony during the Sunday school hour on the blessing of longevity. It was wonderful to ponder what blessings do come from sticking with something for a long time, but especially in relation to the church. It doesn’t only pertain to ministry couples. It also relates to anyone who names the name of Christ. Have you ever found yourself in a place in your Christian walk when you wanted to quit? Perhaps it was the Sunday school class you were teaching, the role of leadership you took, the Bible study you said you’d be a part of, or maybe just your church in general.
Hard times come, for sure. But when you and I choose to stay the course and even weather the storms, there are definite blessings that come as a result. Consider these three blessings:
- Longevity makes your testimony believable. Though we are sinners, we are saved by the grace of God. When we apply that same kind of grace towards people and situations instead of quitting, we’re showing that we truly are people of grace! Others can believe the testimony of which we speak. Our actions aren’t the opposite of what we profess. Our testimony is truly believable!
- Longevity makes your influence dependable. If we are one known to fly off the handle when provoked, who will we be influencing? Can others count on us to be there to give godly counsel? To show up when we’re expected to fulfill a ministry or duty? Will we faithfully complete our responsibilities rather than shirking them because we got weary in well doing? I’m so thankful that my Sunday school teacher was dependable and didn’t quit teaching my class the Sunday before she led me to Christ!
- Longevity makes your heart teachable. Why does the Lord allow us to go through hard things in our church of all places? Why would He bring sinful people to be our leaders? To make us remember that what our hearts crave most is Him. When people dissapoint us (and they will), a teachable heart runs to God’s Word and prayer and asks, “Lord, what do you want me to learn through this?”
I can say after 37 years of marriage that there’s a special blessing of sticking together and enduring the hard times. It seals your love and commitment and really unifies your hearts. There is even greater blessing in sticking with it in a ministry.
Through longevity lives are changed for eternity.
Treasures are laid up in heaven.
And we have a testimony that is believeable,
an influence that’s dependable
and a heart that is teachable.
Be not weary in well doing, for in due season you will reap if you faint not.
Don’t quit, Friend.