Lessons from a Lizard
"A lizard can be caught with the hand, yet it is found in king's palaces."1
What could a tiny lizard possibly teach us? For one thing it can teach us the rewards of persistence.
It has been said that "the race is not always to the swift, but to those who keep on running." This principle certainly applies to fulfilling our God-given life-purpose and achieving our human and spiritual potential. We don't have to be geniuses to do this, but we do need to be persistent and keep on keeping on regardless of our circumstances.
The Apostle Paul experienced all sorts of trials and setbacks. He was shipwrecked, stoned and left for dead, whipped and beaten, thrown in jail for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. He knew firsthand what it was to experience loneliness, cold and hunger. He wrote some of his great letters to the churches while he was in prison—as did John Bunyan with his book, Pilgrim's Progress, when he was in prison.
I listened to a preacher some time ago, a preacher who had cerebral palsy and struggled with every sentence he spoke. I was deeply moved. God used this man to influence hundreds of lives for all eternity. If ever I saw persistence it was in this man. In spite of his debilitating handicap, he reached his top and was maximizing his full potential.
God has a plan and a life-purpose for every one of us. To achieve it will take dedication, commitment, hard work and persistence. As Paul said, "It is God himself in his mercy who has given us this wonderful work . . . and so we never give up."2
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, in the midst of setbacks and the disappointments of life, please give me the gift of persistence to never give up the challenge to become what you want me to be and to keep on doing what you want me to do. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name. Amen."
1. Proverbs 30:28 (NIV).
2. 2 Corinthians 4:1 (TLB)(NLT).