By Tommy Rush

I’m grateful for the many Christian men God has used over the years to be an inspiration to me. In my office, there are several wood carvings made by one of those men. Chyron Wood was like a second father to me. He was a simple man with a big heart for people. He poured his life into hundreds of young people, even in his eighties. I have so many great memories of mission trips, fishing trips and ministry visits with Mr. Chyron. I can still see him sitting by a campfire carving a piece of wood with his pocket knife, surrounded by young men and telling a story. He had an awesome way of telling a good story and capturing the attention of young men. To this day, whenever my son and I are together, there’s a “Chyron Story” that comes up somewhere in our conversation. I’ve always remembered the one he told about plowing and perseverance.

Chyron had just finished the sixth grade and he felt he was old enough and big enough to handle a plow. He nagged his dad so much that he finally rigged up the plow to their old mule, Maude and took him to the field. Maude was so gentle that she could actually plow without him, but he described how he swelled up with pride as the old mule dragged him up and down the rows.

By noon the sand of the field was so hot that his bare feet began to blister. By the middle of the afternoon, the sun was beaming down and so brutal he was seeing images of what hell must be like. He described being bone tired, weary and weak, but careful not to complain out loud. By late afternoon he had tied the lines around his waist and the mule was doing all the work. Finally when he felt he could not take another step, with just a few rows to go, he began untying the lines from his waist. What happened next was one of the unforgettable life lessons that made him the man that he became.

Mr. Chyron described how his father came to him as he stood in the plowed field, placed his hand on his shoulder while looking up at the sun and then said with a firm but gentle voice, “It’s not sundown yet, you can make it son, keep plowing.” Gritting his teeth, he and Maude pressed and finished the job. He said it was the hardest week’s work he ever did in one day. But that one day made the difference in his life for at least a hundred days or more since.

Truth is you will never read biographies of great quitters. You will never see trophies and awards given to those who quit before they finish. Those who inspire us the most, are the people who persevere. There is an old saying that says, “Tough times never last but tough people do.” I prefer to say, “Tough times never last but those who trust God do.” Our Heavenly Father always keeps His eye on His children. He never puts us in tough experiences with the goal of tearing us down, only building us up. If you are going through one of those days, I pray you will feel the Father’s hand on your shoulder and hear Him say, “It’s not sundown yet, you can make it son, keep plowing.”