CrossReads Weekly Devotional: Every Reason to Quit 12/2/2019

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by Precarious Yates

Have you ever been faced with an avalanche of reasons to quit what you feel called to? Have you ever sat back and questioned your calling and your sanity in the same breath?  

I bet there have been a few others who felt that way. What about Abram (later Abraham) when he faced the first drought in the new promised land? What about Joseph, son of Jacob, when he saw his brothers who had sold him disappear over the horizon, back to life as normal, as he was led into slavery? What about Joseph, the one betrothed to Mary, when he saw his fiance with a growing belly? 

There are times to quit when that avalanch or reasons comes. Is your main motivation greed? Do you long to sit back and relax, like the man in the parable from Luke 12:16-21? He worked to amass posessions and longed to relax, only to find he died as soon as he got all the ‘things’ he wanted. When you see those are your main motivations, then yes, it may be a good idea to take stock. Why am I doing this? What is my goal? 

I found that I couldn’t pin my drive into either of these camps. Yes, I have to wrestle with greed, and I have to wrestle with the yearning to relax and take life easy, and with other desires contrary to God’s plan for the human heart. But my calling, no matter how many reasons I had to quit, still had a drive that was far beyond me. 

There was a temptation to find a sinful reason to quit. I bet in this day and age, someone would try to convince Abraham that he was just being prideful and arrogant about his stubborn insistence that God gave him this land. Thankfully, he didn’t have someone try to convince him. Or if someone did, he didn’t listen. 

What if you take stock of your motivations and you still feel called when no one else sees sense in it anymore? 

I’m here in so many areas of my life. I feel called by God in quiet whispers in my heart, while the reasons to quit roar like thunder. Drought. Famine. No payment for work completed. No paying work at all. Everything I did seemed to be in vain. 

I use the past tense, but it’s still happening. 

Yet my drive to continue pulls me along as if it’s outside of me, compelling me forward. 

The drive to give when the last donation check bounced. 

The drive to write when I haven’t sold a book in three weeks. Not one. Out of 21 books and two pen names. 

The drive to love when all my efforts to love are thrown back in my face. 

I’ve been studying the Minor Prophets lately. Perhaps it’s because I can relate to some of them. Particularly Habakkuk. That dude takes real questions to God. “How long?…Why do you tolerate the trecherous?” (1:1, 1:13) 

He wrestled with his calling in the midst of serious famine and came out with this portion of a song,

“17Though the fig tree does not bud 

    and there are no grapes on the vines, 

though the olive crop fails 

    and the fields produce no food, 

though there are no sheep in the pen 

    and no cattle in the stalls, 

18  yet I will rejoice in the Lord, 

    I will be joyful in God my Savior.” 

Hab. 3:17-18 

Can you delight in the Lord in the midst of failure? It’s a hard thing to do. Especially when you want to quit. 

If you’re in that place too, that place of wrestling with failure, can I encourage you? 

Yes, take stock. Yes, look at all the motivations. Are you still driven toward your calling when you’ve confessed your shortcomings? 

I was driving the other day, and I asked God, “Do you want me to quit? If you want me to, I will right now.” 

I was on an unfamiliar road and the sign on the side of the road, right at that very moment, read, “Don’t give up!” 

Nothing else, just those three words. 

I nodded, smiled, and looked up as I said, “I won’t, then.” 

And those are my words to you. Don’t give up. Don’t give up. Don’t give up! And when you fail, continue to praise! That’s where the true success is anyway!

God bless you! 

Precarious Yates

About the Author:

Precarious YatesPrecarious Yates has lived in 8 different states of the Union and 3 different countries, but currently lives in Texas with her husband, her daughter and their big dogs. When she’s not writing, she enjoys music, teaching, playing on jungle gyms, praying and reading. She holds a Masters in the art of making tea and coffee and a PhD in Slinky® disentangling.

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