Last week was grueling. Language study, the lines and bumpy body jarring travel that comes with securing visas, much red tape, needs at church, sermon and lesson preparation, the plague of mosquitos, breathing in the smokey polluted air, and having our water shut off all had physically and emotionally depleted us. And then when we felt like we couldn’t take anything else, we were blindsided by crushing news from another ministry family that left us feeling rejected, misled, and very, very alone. Before Sunday even started its regular marathon of ministry we wanted to call Delta and buy some tickets straight back to Greenville, SC. It all seemed like too much. We wanted to quit.
But as all of this had been hitting us and beating us down externally, the Comforter was and continues to patiently work and faithfully minister to us internally. Scripture passages have been flooding our minds.
Jeremiah 12:5 —”If you have raced with men on foot, and they have wearied you, how will you compete with horses? — really put into perspective our light trials. Sure, the week had been exhausting and perhaps we hadn’t been treated in the most ethical way, but Christians through the ages and all over the world have endured and are enduring much, much worse for Jesus’ sake. The Holy Spirit has and is enabling them to complete with horses. We are merely in the foot race and yes, we are wearied, but He is there to help us and to grow us until we are strong enough to contend with the chariots. May that day come.
Matthew 9:37-38 —”Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest’”—reminded us that there’s a reason Jesus called his servants laborers. There’s a whole lot of exhausting and rather thankless work that must be done, and there truly aren’t enough people doing it. But the labor is worth the sweat and the tears. The harvest is a promise!
Palms 126:5 – 6 —”Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.” There have been tears. And there will be many more, but the contrast of the memory of those tears will only intensify the euphoria of those certain shouts of joy when we parade home with our golden and eternal sheaves.
Intercession of the Saints
So at our lowest point so far the Holy Spirit has buoyed our spirits and strengthened our resolve. He has also used fellow Christians to encourage and reinvigorate us. Two families wrote this week to tell us that we are regularly in their prayers. They try to pray for us daily. The knowledge of their labor on our behalf has been like finding an oasis in the middle of the desert. We often feel so alone here. But we are not alone. The Comforter is with us and the prayers of the saints are strengthening us carrying us forward when our human strength fails us. Praise the Lord with us. And please keep praying. We are counting on you.