I received the following in an e-mail, and found it so reassuring ... hope you do too!
One day, a man decided to quit. He wanted to quit his job, his relationships, his spirituality ..... he even wanted to quit his life.
He went to the woods to have one last talk with God. "God", he said, "Can you give me one good reason not to quit?"
The answer surprised him. "Look around", God said, "Do you see the fern and the bamboo?"
"Yes", the man replied.
"When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them. I gave them light. I gave them water. The fern quickly grew from the earth. Its brilliant green covered the floor. Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo."
"In the second year the fern grew more vibrant and plentiful. And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo."
"In the third year there was still nothing from the bamboo seed. But I would not quit."
"In the fourth year, again, there was nothing from the bamboo seed. Still, I would not quit."
"Then, in the fifth year a tiny sprout emerged from the earth. Compared to the fern it was seemingly small and insignificant. But just 6 months later the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall!It had spent the five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive.
I would not give any of my creations a challenge they could not handle," He said. "Did you know, my child, that all this time you have been struggling, you have actually been growing roots? I would not quit on the bamboo. I will never quit on you! Don't compare yourself to others. The bamboo had a different purpose than the fern. Yet they both make the forest beautiful. Your time will come," God said. "You will rise high."
"How high should I rise?" the man asked.
"How high will the bamboo rise?" He asked in return.
"As high as it can?"
"Yes", He said, "Give Me glory by rising as high as you can. And remember...I will never leave you, nor forsake you. I will never give up on you. I will never, ever quit on you."
- Author Unknown