Friday, February 7, 2014

Perseverance Produces Hope

“Are you sure you want only pepperoni—no mushrooms?” I asked my four-year-old son a third time as we made our way through a cafeteria style pizza restaurant tucked into a corner of a department store. 
He shook his head. “Pepperoni.” He pointed to the already-baked pizza behind the glassed-in counter. 
I paid for our meal, and we headed to a table to eat. I lifted him from the shopping cart, sat him in a chair, and placed his food in front of him.
His little face clouded, eyebrows creased. Bewildered, he asked, “Where’s my mushrooms?”
“You didn’t want mushrooms.” 
He crossed his arms in front of his chest. “Did, too.” 
Frustrated, I tried to explain how I’d asked him three times about his pizza choice, but he turned a deaf ear to me. He wasn’t going to believe me when his brain thought otherwise. Finally, he picked up the pizza and began to eat. 
Welcome to my life. I wish I could say this was a rare occurrence, but it wasn’t. Dealing with a preschooler with a short-term memory deficit made even the simplest tasks difficult at times. And this was only one of the developmental issues that challenged him. 
“We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” Romans 5:3-5a (NIV)
Sometimes I found it difficult to be hopeful when I’d shuttle my son back and forth to speech or occupational therapy several times a week. I didn’t understand what I do now—in order to experience the real hope that comes from above, I had to grow through the other steps first. Despite my occasional feelings of despair about my son’s future, God poured out His love during this trial of uncertainty, which gave me enormous strength to persevere.
Fifteen years later, my son is a volunteer firefighter and a freshman in college. For the most part, he overcame his short-term memory problem and worked hard to eliminate his other developmental issues. Now he’s just a normal forgetful teen like many other kids his age. J 
We’re not guaranteed favorable outcomes for our problems. But in persevering through trials, we grow, develop character, and experience the full depth of God’s hope. 
What difficult trial are you experiencing? Place your faith in the One who comforts with the promise of hope. 

Laura Hodges Poole is a freelance writer with dozens of articles, devotions, and short stories in publication. She writes Christian romance novels and is a 2012 RWA Emily finalist, with her Christian novel manuscript placing second in a nationwide field of Christian and secular entries. Laura is also an Associate Editor with Christian Devotions ministry, as well as a ghostwriter. Her passion is encouraging others in their Christian walk through her blog, "A Word of Encouragement." She may be contacted at

Pepperoni Pizza image courtesy of Kittikun Atsawintarangkul/

Hope Puzzle image courtesy of Stuart Miles/


  1. I so agree that we are not guaranteed a favorable outcome for your problems. What we are guaranteed is the outcome has been filtered through God's hands and will help us to grow. Great post!

    1. Thanks, Patricia. So glad you enjoyed it. God bless.

  2. Replies
    1. You're welcome, Melanie. I'm glad you enjoyed it. God bless.

  3. Laura,
    You have no idea how timely this is. My daughter has this issue and it is something I'm using in Match Made in Heaven. It's been a challenge not to worry about my daughter's future, but God reminds me she is an overcomer.

    Thank you for sharing this encouragement!

    1. You're welcome, Julie. I knew you were dealing with some issues but didn't realize this was one of them. I'll be praying for both you and your daughter. I know how tough it is. I believe God gives kids like this a fighting disposition to overcome their challenges and maybe builds character in them differently than those who don't have to fight for every accomplishment they get. Because of that, I wouldn't trade my son's journey for anything. God bless.

  4. Thank you for sharing this inspiring post, Laura. It is truly a blessing to know that God is always with us!