By Erin Bird, 


Welcome to May!

Hard to believe we are in month five of 2019 already. In just five weeks, kids will be out of school. Rec-League baseball has already started. And the schools are already starting to do “end of the year” events. I’ve often joked that the end of the school year is busier than the end of the calendar year. But, we’ve just got to push through.

Speaking of “pushing through,” I was talking with a friend this week about this idea. As we caught up over coffee (well, hot tea for me…), somehow we got to talking about perseverance. Both of us are dads, and we were sharing that we want to somehow pass on to our kids the importance of “pushing through the pain” (without causing deep psychological harm!). Whether it be going out for a sport, or finishing a homework assignment, or completing a chore at home, we both long for our kids to have a type of tenacity that will later serve them as they get jobs, get married, and hopefully follow Jesus.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)

The Riverwood Overflow Youth Group just finished up a study of the book of James (using this RightNow Media study). In the first chapter, James encourages his readers to  “push through.”


Here is how he said it:

Joy After the Push
We often bristle at that first sentence. Count it all joy when we run into hard times? Well, yes. Here’s why…

James is encouraging his readers to push through the pain of trials, difficulties, and suffering, knowing that “pushing through,” will change us, maturing us into the image of Jesus, the perfect one. Don’t you want to be like Jesus, loving & living like Him? I know I do. And that should fill us with joy!
So let me ask you, what do you need to “push through” right now? Just like athletes need to push through the pain to achieve their best, do you need to “push through the pain” in one of these areas?

  • Do you need to fight for your marriage?
  • Do you need to buckle down to complete the semester?
  • Do you need to push away the busyness to make time for God and/or your family?
  • Do you need to stop avoiding “that person” and go talk to them?

Whatever it might be, let me encourage you to “push through the pain,” knowing that as you persevere through, God is at work within you making you more like His Son.