Just this week, we finally completed the purchase and transfer of ownership of our house after almost one year of getting everything necessary for it to happen. The process was challenging, tedious, and at many points frustrating (considering the property was not a clean title), but looking back at all of the things that happened it was all worth it.
I was looking back and reminded of the time we decided to pursue this property. It had actually belonged to my grandmother and mother and had been sitting idle for a very long time. No one seemed interested in it and I was probably the least most interested. But on several occasions God brought the house up to me in a dream. I remember telling Ces about those dreams. When she suggested that it could be a sign that it would be our family home, I just brushed the idea aside.
But one thing lead to another and the desire to take the house grew in me. I talked to all the remaining heirs involved to arrange the purchase and consulted with a lawyer. It wasn’t going to be easy but with much prayer we decided to push through with it.
And then things went from bad to worse. Penalties, technicalities, clerical errors, discouragements, negative opinions, corruption, crab mentality and a barrage of setbacks seemed to push back what should have been done in three to four months. We started getting delayed by weeks, then by months. On top of that, I lost a client that provided a large chunk of my income just a month after we started processing. We ran out of money. I had to sell some prized possessions. At one point, I had wondered whether we would still have enough money for groceries.
I remember one time, I had spent several days in BIR only to be met with so many issues that prohibited me from getting a clearance to have the title transferred to mine and my sister’s name. I was exhausted and stunned by it all. Many times I wanted to quit, but every time I felt the urge to throw in the towel, the Holy Spirit would just give me another jolt of energy to keep going.
Now here we are eleven months later, officially home owners. Me, my wife- Ces, and my sister- Angela- are all in our twenties, but God has been faithful. He richly rewards not based on our merits but simply by His abounding grace and adds no trouble to it.
I don’t know what your situation looks like right now. Maybe you’re also fighting for a promise that God gave you days, months, even years ago. The waiting, fighting and persevering may be agonising, but as someone who just came out of a big battle (though it may be nothing compared to what you’re going through even), I want to encourage you not to give up. I know what it’s like to spend long nights wondering whether the problems will end, to run out of options and rely simply on God’s intervention, to be stretched, spent and at some point even destroyed.
More importantly, we have a God who knows the suffering that we go through. Jesus battled the same things we did. He got exhausted, burnt out, frustrated, and even had to endure something none of us will- punishment and death for billions of sins He did not commit.
You are not alone. You have family and friends who can encourage you. If you don’t then shoot me an email and I’ll commit to encourage you as much as I can. But even if I don’t you have God who will be your refuge and your help in times of trouble.
If you feel like giving up, don’t. It’s as simple as that. It’s not easy for use, but it’s simple. I’d like to share seven lessons I have learned over the past year that has taught me why quitting is never to be an option.
1. Difficulty is the only way to succeed.
Frederick Douglass once said, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” If you want to succeed in life then the only way to go is against the current. The world is full of mediocre people that just go with the flow, but what the world really needs is people who will challenge the status quo and break barriers that have never been broken before.
When me and Ces got married at the age of twenty-two so many people told us it was a bad idea. “It’s going to be hard,” was what I heard the many times I asked why. Well of course it’s going to be hard because all things that bring success will challenge us. What is challenging you today? Be thankful that it’s there.
2. You’ll lose some, but you’ll win more.
One thing I had to learn through this challenge and the many other challenges that I have faced in life is to learn how to celebrate wins- even small ones. The first client I had with my first business, I used half of my earnings to just celebrate. Celebration is not always an expense. It can also be an investment. Even delayed gratification calls for gratification in the end.
If you feel like giving up, think about all the small wins and start celebrating them. Those small wins are more than enough reasons to be thankful.
3. Success could happen anytime.
There’s this really popular image circulating all over the internet showing a man who gave up digging for diamonds literally inches away from the prize. Your breakthrough could happen at any moment and the moment you give up just might be the day that the promise will be fulfilled.
Success demands for perseverance because perseverance tells us, “this could very well be it.” We could be literally inches away from our breakthrough and even if you’re not, it’s okay. Challenges and trials too will pass.
4. Regret will hurt more than fatigue.
I know it’s tiring to pursue your dreams, but not as much as the bed sore of idleness. If you stop and quit now, the moment you throw in the towel until the day you die will forever be a battle still- this time not fighting to win the prize, but fighting with “what ifs” and “if onlys.”
5. The harder the goal, the more valuable the gold.
I was greatly reminded by a good friend of mine when he shared this idea to me: “Digging diamonds and chasing butterflies are different because of two things: the difficulty of the task and the value of the prize.” The harder your promise is, chances are the more valuable the prize is going to be. How hard are you fighting for God’s promises today? That’s how valuable His prize is.
6. No pain, no gain.
I love reading James 1:2-4: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Maturity and wholeness come not by having it easy, but by breaking barriers. In the same way our physical muscles grow only when we stretch them, your faith muscle stops growing when you stop challenging yourself. Quitting ends that challenge and thus ends the growth process.
7. There’s more to you than you even know.
Almost everyone I’ve known who has a bid dream has no idea what he or she is capable of. There is so much more to our capacity than we know most especially if you tap into the enabling and empowering grace of God through the Holy Spirit. If you can’t test your own ability then why not test Gods? He will always prove to be more than capable.
It’s never too late
I’ll be completely honest with you- those many times that I wanted to quit? In some way I gave in to the temptation. Some way or another I threw in the towel, but thankfully it was never too late to get back in the game.
It’s still not too late for you. Whatever promise or goal that you stopped chasing before, you can still start chasing it again. You might have to go back to square one, change a few habits or destroy a few mindsets, but it’s all going to be worth it.
Giving up is always the easiest thing to do, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. Many times giving up could be the worst decision you will ever make. When you feel like giving up, don’t. It won’t win you much and it will make you lose so much. But when you persevere, keep your eyes on the prize, deliberately stretch your limits and believe that you can do it, there’s no knowing what you can and will accomplish.
Patrick Mabilog, patrickmabilog.com