Endurance… I’m guessing everyone has a heightened threshold of endurance these days, what with the ongoing challenges of the pandemic. Endurance and hardship seem synonymous in missions although a lot of people think missionaries are ‘special people’ and handle difficulties in a saintly way. While we do our utmost to keep our eyes on Jesus, hardships do press in upon us.
I’ve been following a number of our missionary teams and what they are enduring. In addition to the stressors of living abroad, adjustments to an unfamiliar language & culture, the people, and a lot of other oddities, many of our co-laborers are burdened for loved ones back home. –An aging, struggling loved one; a sibling dealing with life threatening cancer or addictions; another with a brain tumor; loss of employment; sadness & depression.
These things take a toll on you when you’re not present to journey with a loved one. We’re not living abroad any longer but we are distanced from loved ones back east. Like I was telling someone recently, “sometimes we feel like we have a target on our back for hardships although we know God is always looking out for us.”
Such things put me in mind of Jesus asking his disciples to watch and pray while he was agonizing before the cross. We are continually asking people to uphold specific prayer needs related to life and ministry. We certainly feel unworthy asking for prayer for ourselves as we know many others are enduring things far greater than our experiences with difficulties. Nice to know we are called to bear one another’s burdens.
Right now, would you pause and pray for those serving in hard places around the world? –for those who are dealing with separation from loved ones and their present struggles? You can pray God’s mighty hand of peace upon those who have sacrificed so much so that lost ones can hear of Jesus. This is the ‘You All’ of prayer that the Apostle Paul spoke about when he besought the prayers of the early church for specific needs. Thank you for your ongoing prayers.