Ready to Throw in the Towel?

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” ―Nelson Mandela

NASA launched the exploratory space probe Pioneer 10 in 1972. The satellite’s primary mission was to reach Jupiter, photograph it and its moons, and beam data about the planet’s magnetic field, radiation belts, and atmosphere back to Earth.

It was considered a bold plan because up until then no satellite had gone beyond Mars, and they feared the asteroid belt would destroy Pioneer 10 before it could reach its target.

But Pioneer 10 accomplished its mission and much more. It passed Jupiter in November 1973. It was accelerated to a higher rate of speed toward the edge of the solar system by the planet’s immense gravity. At one billion miles from the sun, Pioneer 10 passed Saturn. At two billion miles, it passed Uranus; Neptune, at nearly three billion miles; Pluto, at almost four billion miles.

In 1997, 25 years after its launch, Pioneer 10 was more than six billion miles from the sun. And despite this immense distance, Pioneer 10 continued to beam back radio signals to scientists on Earth. It’s even more incredible when you consider an eight-watt radio transmitter broadcasts the signals—essentially the same amount of power as a bedroom night-light.

Engineers designed Pioneer 10 with a useful life expectancy of three years. It continued sending signals to Earth into the year 2003, and only stopped then because the batteries powering the eight-watt transmitter were drained. Today Pioneer 10 is located more than 10 billion miles from the sun, traveling at over 30,000 mph toward the constellation Taurus.

This little satellite accomplished more than anyone ever imagined.

Certainly you’re not expected to travel billions of miles and wander the interstellar medium! But you’ve got tasks and responsibilities you are expected to pursue—which others are depending upon you to accomplish. What of those days when you feel discouraged? What of those times when you are overwhelmed? God’s Word gives great counsel:

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12).

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12).

“And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good” (2 Thessalonians 3:13).

An overachieving satellite with outdated technology and a little battery-operated eight-watt transmitter has nothing on you—a child of God, with His power at work in you to accomplish His aims!

In what areas of life are we tempted to quit?

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21).


My prayer this weekHeavenly Father, may that benediction be my prayer this week! Will you bolster my faith to believe you are able to do far more than I could ask or imagine? Will you bless me with power and grace to press on when I’m ready to throw in the towel?