From Perseverance to Perfection
Dr. John K. Mathew
'Aatujeevitham' (Goat life) is a malayalam novel written by Benyamin.
It tells the story of a young man, Najeeb, who longed to go to the Middle East to find a good job and earn a decent living.
He obtained a visa from a friend and went to Saudi Arabia.No one came to receive him at the Riyadh airport.
Intentionally or mistakenly he was taken by a local Arab to tend his sheep.The job was terrible. He had to work day and night, live with the sheep with very limited food and water. The scarcity of water troubled Najeeb much, as he was used to living near a river in his hometown.
He was brutally beaten and intimidated by his master. Life became dim and dull day by day. He lost himself in nostalgia.
No friends, not enough food, no entertainment and no salary. Life became a drab and meaningless.
Hakkim was another unlucky guy who came along with Najeeb and worked in the similar condition.One day Hakkim met Najeeb and told him he was planning to escape with a Sudani, who knew the route in the desert. One day they met together and started their uncertain journey to freedom.
The journey through the desert was totally miserable. Hakkim died in the desert and the Sudani disappeared. Some how Najeeb bypassed all the hurdles, escaped and came back to his country and people. Throughout the story the patience and perseverance of Najeeb is underscored.
It takes perseverance to face the challenges of life. The Christian life is a journey too. A difficult journey. There are not only deserts, but shadow of the valley of death. The trials on the way is not to destroy us but to perfect us.
St.Paul writes, We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character, and character, hope (Rom.5:3,4). Abraham patiently waited twenty five years to fulfill God's promise in his life.
There is nothing parallel to the life of Job in history. His life was intolerably miserable. Apostle James writes about him."As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about.
The Lord is full of compassion and mercy"(Jam.5:11) Some times it is difficult to hold on. But never quit,because it is light on the other side and the scripture says,
"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life, that God has promised to those who love him" (James 1:12).