Workout 3Do you play a sport or did you in high school or college? One of the most important things for athletes is for them to stay strong until the end of the game. You can’t afford to run out of gas before the whistle blows or the buzzer buzzes. In order to do this, many athletes have to build up their endurance, which is,

the ability to do something difficult for a long time, the ability to deal with pain or suffering that continues for a long time, or the quality of continuing for a long time.”

Workout 2Building one’s endurance comes from pushing a little harder each time you do something. Many athletes will spend longer on a training field they they would in a competition. They’ll also put themselves through harsher conditions than normal to make sure when game day comes, they can persevere no matter the circumstances. This where the rubber hits the road.

There’s rarely fame or glory involved with endurance training.

There aren’t fans cheering you on. It’s hard and in many cases, it’s lonely.

We all get it when it comes to sports, but when it comes to life, few people endure. They’re ready to quit, throw in the towel, when things get difficult. It’s why we see people drop out of college, file for divorce or quit a job when it gets difficult or demanding. Few seem to live by the motto,

When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

In fact, when the going gets tough, many only go out the door and just keep going. They aren’t willing to be inconvenienced, uncomfortable, or to have to dig in and get a little dirty…. they don’t count the cost.

Walking life out alongside of sex trafficking survivors is not for the faint of heart. For every good day they have, for every few steps of progress, there can be ten steps back at times. They trust virtually no one and are accustomed to being used, so they use in return. While they may feel like their bodies have been used as ATMs in the life, once out, they treat those trying to help them like Santa Claus, expecting to be given what they want every time. When that doesn’t happen, they push back or shut down.

I, and others like me, have been yelled at, cussed at, hung up on, stood up, lied to, and used more times than we can count. So why do it? Why do all of those who walk with survivors from victim to thriver endure the cycle? Because they’re worth it.

They have value, even if they don’t see it, and our job is to mine the gold.

We are privileged to have a front row seat of a complete transformation if we will count the cost and walk the walk. Two steps forward, one step back…. but still moving forward.

James 5:17 says,

As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”

When a girl goes from victim to survivor to thriver, it is more precious than all of Job’s restored wealth. To see a life go from ashes to beauty, from hopelessness to hopeful, from empty to full, it is the most beautiful thing in the world. The same can be said for someone coming out of a life of addiction or a marriage that is about to dissolve in divorce turning into a loving, thriving marriage.

God is in the restoration business. For reasons we cannot begin to comprehend, He chooses to use us in the restorative process. But He needs people who aren’t going to quit when things get hard. He needs you.

So, how do we prepare for this kind of service? With endurance training. We spend time in the Word of God and prayer. Not quick good morning and bedtime prayers and blessings over our food, although those are a good place to start. We need to strengthen our prayer muscles and our understanding of the Word. We do this just like an athlete strengthens his or her muscles, by putting in the time, energy and effort. By sacrificing other things because we view this as more important.

You never know when you’ll be called upon in the game of life to endure. It’s better to always be prepared. Why not start your endurance training today.