“You Have Need of Endurance”
WE HAVE “need of endurance,” if we are to receive “the fulfillment of the promise.” (Hebrews 10:36) One Bible scholar explains that the Greek word for “endurance” that the apostle Paul used in this text sometimes served to describe “the ability of a plant to live under hard and unfavourable circumstances.”
In the mountains of Europe, there grows just such a plant. Curiously enough, it is called live-forever. This alpine plant does not live forever, of course, but it does endure year after year, producing exquisite flowers every summer. The New Encyclopædia Britannica explains that the name live-forever was given to the plant because of its “hardiness and durability.” (The scientific name for these plants of the genus Sempervivum also means “live-forever.”)
What makes this durable plant remarkable is that it grows in the most inhospitable places. It can be found high up on windswept mountain slopes, where temperatures can plummet as much as 60° F [35°C] in just 24 hours. It can take root in a rocky crevice with a smattering of soil. What are some of the secrets of its endurance in such harsh conditions?
The live-forever has succulent leaves, which carefully hoard water. This enables it to take full advantage of all the moisture available from rain or melting snow. Moreover, it grows in clusters that unite their strength to get a firm grip on their rocky support. By taking root in crevices, it has some protection against the elements, even though there may be little soil. In other words, it thrives by making the most of difficult circumstances.
Spiritually speaking, we may find ourselves in circumstances that test the quality of our endurance. What will help us to endure under trial? Like the live-forever plant, we can store up the life-giving water of God’s Word and associate closely with true Christians for support and protection. Above all, like the alpine flower, we must tenaciously cleave to our “rock,” Jehovah, as well as to his Word and to his organization.—2 Samuel 22:3.
Truly, the live-forever plant is an attractive reminder that, even in a harsh environment, we can endure if we take advantage of the provisions available. Jehovah assures us that such endurance will lead to our ‘inheriting the promises,’ which will literally mean living forever.—Hebrews 6:12; Matthew 25:46.