Daily Encouragement: Day 243

From Handbook to Wisdom, Day 243


May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father,
who has loved us and has given us eternal consolation
and good hope by grace, comfort our hearts and
strengthen us in every good work and word.
(2 Thessalonians 2:16–17)

Since the day of the Lord will come like a thief,
what kind of person should I be
in holy conduct and godliness
as I look for and hasten the coming of the day of God?
But according to His promise,
I am looking for new heavens and a new earth,
in which righteousness dwells.
Therefore, since I am looking for these things,
I will be diligent to be found by Him in peace,
spotless and blameless.
(2 Peter 3:10–14)

It was perseverance and patience that finally enabled the young Clyde Tombaugh to discover Pluto. Astronomers had already calculated a probable orbit for an object that was causing perturbations in Neptune’s orbital movement. Tombaugh took up the search for the suspected planet in March 1929. He examined scores of telescopic photographs, each showing tens of thousands of star images in pairs under the blink comparator, or dual microscope. It often took three days to scan a single pair of photographs. It was exhausting, eye-straining work, in Tombaugh’s own words, “brutal tediousness.” The search went on for months. Star by star, Tombaugh examined 20 million images. Finally, on February 18, 1930, as he was blinking a pair of photographs in the constellation Gemini, he said, “I suddenly came upon the image of Pluto!” It was the most dramatic astronomical discovery in nearly a hundred years.

Great achievements do not come cheaply. It requires a combination of vision and hope to persevere and endure the “brutal tediousness” that can discourage and derail the majority of people. The quality of perseverance is a biblical virtue and an evidence of Christlike character (2 Peter 1:5–8).

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