Keep Going

December 19, 2018
by Vincent Walter

One of the highlights of life in my residence is the annual Christmas party for the children of the staff. Everything is geared for fun and laughter. To see the youngsters enjoying themselves is a great tonic for the residents, all of whom have seen many, many Christmas celebrations.

The final event of the afternoon last year was the arrival of a gentleman in a red suit, with a white beard, bringing in presents for the young children. The staff had fixed up his walker with cardboard sidings so that it resembled a sleigh. The only problem was that as he progressed to where the children were gathered, parts of his "sleigh" came off.

Nevertheless, he kept going and safely arrived at the appointed location, even though his equipment wasn't all there. We all laughed, the children were thrilled with their presents, and the true Christmas spirit of sharing with love was very evident.

The man in the red suit is in his mid-nineties and lives in a suite on my floor. Sometimes, when I meet him on the way to breakfast, he will privately share with me his difficulty in arising that day. Nevertheless, when he arrives at the breakfast area, he virtually always responds to a query as to his health with, "Great! It's another blessed day in paradise!"

He is an inspiration to all of us as he positively strives to keep going, despite the physical challenges brought on by advancing years.

This made me think of the contrast with our spiritual life, in which we can get stronger as life progresses. If we have accepted Jesus as our Saviour, we are reconciled with God our Father, and even as our body fails, we can "be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes." (Ephesians 6:10-11 NIV)

We are able to keep progressing in our sanctification with perseverance:

Hebrews 12:1-3 – Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (NIV)

And finally, we can receive the ultimate gift:

Revelation 2:10 – Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. (KJV)

Let us all keep going with perseverance as God gives us physical life, but much more importantly, let us each grow in our spiritual life to gain the ultimate prize.

Prayer: Dear Father, we thank You that we have been given an opportunity to be reconciled with You through the gift of Jesus, whose coming we celebrate at Christmas. Help us to accept the gift of salvation that He freely offers to us all, and then, to keep going with perseverance in our spiritual growth. In His name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Vincent Walter <vwalter@bell.net>
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen, Vincent. Merry Christmas.


    Another inspiring post, Vincent. Thank you!


    Thank you, Vincent. This is a really good devotion.


    Thank you, Vincent, for sharing this devotional with us. Blessings.


    Thanks, Vincent, for this encouraging word. I like these views you give us of life at your residence.


    Thank you, Vincent Walter, for writing this precious devotional. I went back to read it a second time.


    Good one. Thank you. I’ll enjoy this day in paradise as I attend a school Christmas concert. Merry Christmas!


    Vince: your writing allows us to be in the moment at the retirement residence, savouring the joy of both children and adults.


    Vincent thank you for your humorous Santa story and the contrast btw physical frailty and spiritual strength. God bless you this Christmastide.


    Greetings, Vincent,
    Your devotionals are always an inspiration to me. Thank you so much and have a blessed Christmas.


    Thank you, Vincent. This is another enjoyable and meaningful devotional.
    God bless.
    Merry Christmas!!!


    Good morning Walter. Thank you for all your contributions to the devotional site.
    They are always well done and thought provoking.
    Have a blessed Christmas.


    Dear Brother Vince,
    You always leave us feeling a whole lot closer to our God when we read your great devotions. We have strength to onward trod.
    We love you and Thank you!


    Greetings Vince,
    Your devotional writings are always a pleasure to read and give inspiring advice. The Lord surely gives us the perseverance to “keep going” when we rely on Him and His reassuring word.
    Blessings,
    (B.C.)


    Good Morning, Vincent.
    Just want to tell you how much I enjoy your stories/devotionals as you relate stories from your residence with the teachings of Jesus. Today’s story had me chuckling as I envisioned ‘Santa’ making his way to the children in his sleigh. This reminded me of our Sunday School concert this past Sunday as the children performed the well-known song “C is for the Christ Child”. After many years of teaching this song, it is still heartwarming and funny when one child holds up a letter upside down.
    Yes, we all have to keep going despite the handicaps handed to us by life.
    Keep on writing, and Merry Christmas to you and all the residents.
    (ON)


    Dear Vincent,
    Your devotional reminds of an incident that occurred while I was working in New York City. I was in the crowd of morning commuters making our to the subway and past the people handing out the free newspapers. As I was walking along, one of them stop his usual patter of “Get you Metro! Big Sale at Macy’s! Free Coupons Inside!”, and suddenly shouted out: SMILE!! You woke up this morning, Consider the alternative!” I couldn’t help but smile to myself the at this restatement of Psalm 118: This is the Day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. Every day is truly a gift from GOD and something to be thankful for. There truly are angels amongst us, if we take the time to stop and listen.


    Particularly appreciated in your devotional today, the words, “Highlight of my life in residence…” Gives me hope that wherever I may be, God still will have work for me to do, a light to shine where I am. Your writing and sharing the truth of your days right now, continue to bless everyone who hears and reads them. Including me. Love to you.

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