You walk the path of a Christian. You made your initial commitment, years ago, but it is a daily cross that must be chosen, picked up and carried. Yours is the best path, the most hopeful, the most glorious. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be heartache or tears, headache or discouragement.
Sometimes your work will not be valued or seen. You will be questioned by people who should be on your side. You will be criticized by those who don’t know the whole picture. You will be guilted because you did not do enough. You will be guilted because you did not provide opportunities for others.
Remember, dear one, that the Lord sees. He sees you in secret. He sees what your hands find to do. He sees what your heart stirs into action. And in the end, the people won’t matter but only the Lord.
Sometimes, you heart will be heavy. There will be losses – financial, emotional, personal. You will lose fellow soldiers of the cross. You will move from vibrant church families who enfolded you. You will bear the searing loss of pain.
Remember, dear one, that the Lord is ever with you. Even on your loneliest nights, He is there. He is the one who holds your right hand. He is the one who will never forsake you.
Sometimes, you will be tired. Your health may be poor or your nights may be broken by babies’ cries or silent vigils. Sometimes, you will be exhausted, after pouring yourself into others, into service, into work.
Remember, that we have a rest: a beautiful, glorious, heavenly one. Remember, too, that our Lord Jesus worked – even when he was tired, even when he was drained, even when he tried to find time alone and literally thousands followed him. He knows you. He sees you. And he will lift up your weary hands and keep your weary feet from stumbling.
Sometimes, you will be tempted. And sometimes, you will sin. You will fall back into bad habits. You will find that darkness slips into your life. You will be battered by the enemy.
Remember, that Satan is always on the prowl. Remember, that even Peter, who denied the Son of God three times – on the very night he needed him most – remember, that Peter was forgiven. And that you can be too. But also remember that you must first come back in order to find that forgiveness. And it is then that you will discover the open arms of the father to the prodigal.
Sometimes, it will be hard.
But sometimes, it will be beautiful and joyous. Overflowing with love and blessing. You will see great acts of mercy and overwhelming gifts of generosity. You will watch people serve others at great cost to themselves. You will witness bold faith and brilliant sermons. You will watch the gospel change lives in unbelievable ways. You will be incredibly, beautifully, and lovingly blessed. You will feel the exhilaration that comes only from knowing that you are exactly where you need to be.
You are serving at the feet of the Almighty. You are working in the fields of harvest. You are yearning for a heavenly home.
And you are not alone. The same God who called you to this path has built a church. He knew you would need me and I would need you. So let’s hold hands and remember – remember why we chose this path. And why it will be worth it in the end.