No question that life can sometimes be tedious. It can be boring. It can be discouraging. Spiritually, you do the same old same old day in and day out with no seeming positive reinforcement.
Sometimes, I picture people like Noah and Jeremiah preaching and uttering God’s message to ears that were spiritually clogged. They encountered derision and disrespect that seemed to be directed towards them but really was towards God, for they represented Him. Noah tried to help them spiritually for one hundred years, and, for forty years, Jeremiah faithfully preached that Israel would go into captivity if her sins weren’t repented. Did these men ever groan before doing God’s will? What was it that enabled them to keep on slogging?
Did they ever take personal days to just be with God, to seek comfort, strengthening and encouragement from Him? After all, God fully understands what they were going through. Just look at how Israel continually rejected Him more times than we can count. And yet, He still loved Israel. He forgave her for all the idolatry and spiritual adultery after she repented for a time.
Have you ever asked God to help you see people as He does, needing Him yet stubbornly, resolutely clinging to their own ways and supposed independence? Have you asked Him to help you reach out to them in ways that will make a difference in their lives? Have you asked Him to give you the patience to wait until they can truly receive and act upon what you have to share? Ah, yes, waiting is hard.
Jesus told His followers to take up our individual cross and follow Him. He did not promise an easy life, but He did give us a personal model and example of what it means to be about the Father’s business regardless of what’s going on (or not) personally. When He felt drained or overwhelmed, He took some personal time to connect to the Father so He could be empowered to keep moving (slogging) forward. He knew the Father loved Him and was there for Him, and He accepted the Father’s will regardless of what that entailed. His salvific, redemptive act on the cross clearly illustrates that.
How about you? Regardless of the slogging in your physical or spiritual life, are you so connected to God that you seek His help and strength so you can do and be what He has for you to do and be?
Matthew 26:38-39 (NIV)
38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
Father God, I am slogging through life and need Your comfort, help and empowerment to be and do what it is You have for me to be and do. Fill me with Your purpose so that I am energized to be about You business. Grant me a focused mind just like Jesus had when He faced life’s ultimate challenge. Grant me wisdom and balance including the ability to value myself and my needs while making being about Your business my top priority. You sent David the mighty men of Ziklag to support him while fulfilling Your anointing upon him to be king over Israel. Thanks for sending me the supporters, skilled helpers and encouragers that I need so that I can keep that divine appointment and work where You are in ways that bring honor and glory to You. In Jesus’ name, amen.
copyright 2014, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved