Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Week Thirty-Nine - When I'm 64

Yesterday was my birthday. It was spent with my precious husband and dear friends, all of us eating way too much! Greetings, cards, flowers, and gifts topped the day and a wise word from my elderly mother-in-law saying, “Enjoy the age you are.”
   Well, I will take her advice and go joyfully onward! After years serving the Lord, I can’t imagine living anywhere else or doing anything more fulfilling and exciting.  Knowing He feeds me and still needs me—gives purpose to my life and empowers me to carry on.
   But I haven’t always felt that way. I remember the hard slog of getting a work off the ground, learning a new culture and a new way to speak.  I remember the tears of culture shock and the absence of grey-headed grandparents around the Thanksgiving Day table.
   I know the pains of disappointment, the loss of loved ones, and the depths of depression, but I also know the joy of victory and the power of His resurrection as I grasped to Job’s pledge, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”  (Job13:15)
   I’d love to be able to give you a simple solution to the question of perseverance, but I have found the Lord deals with us personally.  Oh, we may all quote similar scriptures and come to the same truths, but our stories vary.  Some endure great discouragements, others deep heartache and loss.  Still, others seem to ride the waves with apparent ease, but one thing remains true—Our Lord.
  If you pressed me with the question of perseverance, I would draw back and hesitate because I remember the times I teetered and floundered.  I’m still on the field by God’s grace and hand alone.  I have no personal merit or redeeming qualities above those who have come and gone.  There is no wisdom in comparisons.  Only the Lord, in whom are my times, directs my path and yours.  He determines how long we stay in a place and that truth gives me great peace.
   I am where God wants me to be, doing what he has asked me to do.  That is the sum of it.
   Is there a key? Well, maybe.  You can call it obedience or faithfulness or even dogged determination.  I might choose some other words.  Contentment.  Resolution. Acceptance. Resting. Confidence. Peace. Assurance.  All of those and more go into the act of persevering. Deep down, there must be an understanding of belonging to a loving Heavenly Father who knows who you are, where you are, and has purpose for every moment of your life, whether that is on the mission field or not.
   Those whose hearts are settled in these truths persevere.
   So, will He still need me, will He still feed me when I’m 64?  You bet, and as “Diogenes said when told to rest because he was growing old, ‘If I were running in the stadium, ought I to slacken my pace when approaching the goal?  Ought I not rather to put on speed?’”

Good in Everything by H.L. Gee

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