I recently returned from a 10 day trip to Leticia, Colombia. Five of us from Gateway went and we spent the majority of our time with a precious couple who live and work in this remote area of the rain forest. I’ll be writing about things I learned and experienced for many months to come!
We were able to take a trip up the river on Saturday and we three ladies stayed 2 nights before returning ‘home’ to Leticia, The guys stayed an additional two nights. The first afternoon, after we made our way up the Amazon River, we set up our gear in the most intense heat I have ever experienced! None of us had a dry stitch on. I looked at the 7 of us–limp, sweating and thought: I can’t do this. This is impossible. Then the Spirit whispered the words of Luke 1:37, “For nothing will be impossible with god.” Praise Him!
On Monday, when we returned from the river trip, I took 2 naps before dinner and still slept some that night. I suppose the lack of deep sleep and the heat conspired to make me very tired. Most of us can point to at least one event or season in their lives when they were just weary.
Those first few months as a new parent when the baby wakes every hour…grief… anxiety…waiting for the teenager to return home…depression…excitement…hunger…_______, so many things can keep us awake. Even ministry, no I should say: especially ministry-can be wearying. So how and why do we press on? When we are so exhausted we can’t even sleep, we keep going. I can’t give any better reason than what I found in God’s Word:
“Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart” 2 Corinthians 4:1
We do not lose heart! Why?
“For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake.” 2 Corinthians 4:5
Indeed! Verse 7 of this chapter calls the gospel a treasure. God has placed it in us–a clay vessel. What a thought…us treasure chests! We are exhorted again:
“Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison” 2 Corinthians 4:16-17
Do not lose heart. The momentary light affliction of extreme heat and lack of sleep is no comparison to what is coming in eternity. Praise Him!
“Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” Galatians 6:9
What a harvest there will be when we are obedient! Every smile, every kind word and thoughtful action offered, every patient Scott treated, every child Jerry made grin, every person Frank made laugh with his attempts at speaking Spanish, all the tears Rhonda shed, the stories Jeff and Erin told, the prayers I whispered, all of it is for kingdom purposes. That gives me the desire to press on!!
I’m sure our Lord Jesus must have been weary during his time on earth. He traveled so much and served so many people. How did He do it??
“But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.” Luke 5:16
“It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.”ll reap if we do not grow weary.” Luke 6:12
He drew His power straight from the Father. He spent time alone with God in prayer. This is where our power source is found as well!
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” Isaiah 40:28-31
How precious these words! We have an untapped, unending power source. He bids us to bring our burdens to Him:
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28