If at First You Don’t Endure, Try, Try Again

If at First You Don't Endure, Try, Try Again -christyfitzwater.com

Last Christmas season, at about this time, we were sitting in my mom’s living room talking about our dead car. I might have given in to despair and tears -a complete failure to endure through the trial.

But the grace of God came to us, by way of a man with grease under his fingernails. He repaired the engine, and it has run like a top all year.

Then a few nights ago, our son called from the church, “Mom, the car won’t start.”

Really? The car dying again in the week before Christmas?

Except ha ha! This time was different for me. This time I had been chewing and chewing on Peter’s command to the believers:

…keep sober in spirit…  (1 Peter 1:13 NASB)

Part of this sobriety means not allowing ourselves to be influenced by strong emotion. (Is this even possible for a woman? I asked myself. Alas, the verse seems to be directed to all believers, not just the rational menfolk.)

I sat on the steps in our house and considered the fate of our car. This time, instead of caving in to anxiety and feelings of hopelessness, I purposefully kept a calm spirit in reverence for the Lord. My favorite prayer came from my lips, “Lord, you know what we need here. You know exactly what we need, and I trust you will help.”

My knees bent in worship, and this was Christmas.

The next morning, Matt did some research and made a simple repair. The car started right up.

I thanked the Lord for the opportunity he had given me, by way of car trouble, to practice obedience to his word. What a joy to prove my faith in a trial -way better than my failed response last Christmas.

Come, they told me,

our newborn king to see.

Our finest gifts we bring,

to lay before the king.

May we bring the Lord a gift of sober, self-controlled spirits.

So to honor him

when we come.


  1. I have been struggling with this exact thing! So many things leading to the temptation to strong emotion, so many needs, so many pressures, and yet God says “Be still”. I’ve done better at turning to him before allowing the emotions to overwhelm; continue to do so as the fiery darts keep coming. Thank you for the timely reminder to continue to control my emotions instead of letting them control me.

  2. Jackie Montgomery says:

    I have tears streaming.. My daughter is supposed to start nursing school January 16th. They suspended her financial aid. I have literally been in a battle to keep the panic from setting in during this wait time until she can appeal January 4th. She is terrified they will not reinstate. I want to be an example of God’s peace and calm in a situation like this. I am going to write that verse on a notecard!! Thank you so much for one of the most timely devotional posts I have ever read. Could you join me in prayer for my daughter’s situation to be resolved so she can further her education? Thank you and Merry Christmas!!

    1. Oh no!!! So stressful, friend. Isn’t God good to plant his word in our lives at just the right minute? What a great opportunity for you, as a mom, to model for your daughter how to keep your own spirit under control. By the power of Christ within us, we can refuse to be influenced by those strong emotions that naturally come up in situations like this. I pray the Lord will show his great care for your daughter in this time -but even more than that I pray that you will be a mom with a calm spirit that oozes faith and trust in the Lord. Let me know how things work out!

    2. Praying for peace and clarity, I hope that this clears up soon!

  3. So perfect for my family as we too have the car troubles but God has helped us through them.
    Thank you for this post-it’s a reminder for me to be obedient and keep a calm spirit unlike times before when the car would brake down.
    God’s many blessings this Christmas to you and your family from Pawleys Island.

    1. Car troubles are a regular part of our lives, don’t you think? Thank the Lord that our great hope is in Christ and not in our vehicles.

      A Merry Christmas to you and your family as well. Now I have to go look at a map and see where the Pawleys Island is. 🙂

  4. This is beautiful, thank you.

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