To endure

In this morning’s Fruit of the Vine, Christine Riffel Herbel shares that “years ago, my mother wrote on a sticky note, ‘It’s always too soon to despair.’ I kept that note to remind me to endure.” Christine is writing a reflection on 2 Corinthians 4:8 – “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair” – a reflection in which she relates the story of Aron Ralston.

In April 2003, Aron was trapped in a Utah canyon for more than 5 days when his arm was pinned under a dislodged boulder. Aron escaped, and he tells the story of that escape in Between a Rock and a Hard Place. Christine writes that we, too, “may have times in our lives when it seems like we are riding down a mountain at full speed on an avalanche, and life is falling out of control. We feel helpless.” Or we may find ourselves “caught between a rock and a hard place. . . . We feel like we are holding on for dear life.”

In times like these, we long for escape. And escape sometimes comes. But while we wait, the temptation is to despair. Christine writes that it’s in times like these that she holds to the promise in 2 Corinthians 4:17 – “For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure.”

And she remembers her mother’s words, “It’s always too soon to despair.”

Eric Muhr