April 2021

Don’t Settle

One of my hearing aids quit working. About five weeks ago I could not get my right hearing device to turn on. And, as I did not have time to trouble shoot that morning, I went to work without them. I had some minor frustration during the day, especially during interactions that involved masks and distancing, but overall, not terrible. Over the next several days I tried a number of different things to see if I could get the tiny electronic device to work. All to no avail. Since my audiologist is in another town, making time for repairs is a bit of a challenge. Additionally, I’ve been putting in some long hours at work, which is in the opposite direction. Needless to say, getting resolution on the inconvenience of not being able to hear well kept getting pushed to the bottom of the list of priorities.

As the weeks went by, I became less and less irritated at not being able to hear all the words that people said. I was getting it right most of the time, so no harm done. Right? Then about a week ago, I found myself in a meeting in a large room where everyone was wearing a mask; and, the air conditioner was running, which created just enough background noise to muffle the voices even further. I was definitely frustrated. To top it off, at the close of the meeting I was standing next to someone with whom I have wanted to become friends. She was talking to me, and I was catching about every third word. I have no idea if my responses were appropriate or entirely the opposite. It was a lost opportunity.

You’d think that would be when I put my foot down, with an emphatic, “Enough is enough.” I did not. It took my perceptive and persevering husband resetting my priorities. So, today after church we went to the audiologist who performed the necessary repairs, and I got my hearing back.

Of course, now I will have to regain lost ground in learning how to filter noise, training my brain to focus on voices and not on noises. What I had deemed a minor inconvenience did indeed prove to be costly.

Have you ever settled, only to find out that settling came with a price? There is a reason the Scriptures encourage us to persevere, to press on, to lay hold, to finish the race. Without God, our sinful nature gives us permission to quit when things get hard. Hebrews 12:1-3 exhorts us in this way:

Therefore, since we also have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let’s rid ourselves of every obstacle and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let’s run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking only at Jesus, the originator and perfecter of the faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (NASB)

He is the perfecter of all things, and we don’t ever have to settle. We can press on to receive the prize, which is Christ, Himself. “Not that I have already grasped it all or have already become perfect, but I press on if I may also take hold of that for which I was even taken hold of by Christ Jesus. Brothers and sisters, I do not regard myself as having taken hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14 NASB)

There really is victory in Jesus, and while I am briefly grieved by the lost opportunities I settled for, I know He is faithful. I know He is working all these things together for good — my good and His good purposes. I will finish the race, and He will be there to heal my scraped knees and present me faultless before the Father.

Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for all you have done to make sure I get home safely. Father forgive me for settling for my own work-arounds, when You have given me the Holy Spirit to strengthen me and lead me into all the perfect wisdom of Heaven. Grant that I may be strengthened in faith to know the riches of Your glory and grace, to walk in hope and be transformed by Your love. As the psalmist has written, “Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” In Jesus’ name, amen.

Until next week, fellow pilgrim, run with endurance and don’t settle for less than His best for you.

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