An important detail of Christian living. Are we really able to add to the work of Jesus Christ by our weak, yet exhausting endeavors? My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.
I am a story teller, author and writer. These can sometimes be grueling occupations. When words don’t come, ideas don’t gel, and stories don’t fit, minutes can easily turn into hours. The resulting frustration can be exhausting. I’ve been there more often than I wish. While not a physical exhaustion, the resulting emotional weariness can take its toll. It’s at times like this I need to remind myself of the importance of words and ideas. My loyalty to the power of the written word is restorative. My weakness, my inability to measure up at times as a purveyor of words, is mediated by the importance of the occupation itself. Renewal is inevitable as I draw new energy from beyond myself in the art of the written word.
Here’s a story. When Dr. David Livingston was discovered working, healing and giving his utmost in the heart of Africa, many wondered how he could have devoted nearly an entire lifetime to work that was so grueling, exhausting and professionally without reward. He was often asked this question: “Did you consider your service a tremendous sacrifice over a professional life that could have been spent doing the same thing in your native England?” Livingston replied. “People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa. Can that be called a sacrifice which is simply paid back as a small part of a great debt owed to our God, which we can never repay? Is that a sacrifice which brings its own consciousness of doing good, peace of mind, and the bright hope of a glorious destiny hereafter. I never made a sacrifice.” (Source unknown.)
Livingston was cognizant of an important detail of Christian living. Are we really able to add to the work of Jesus Christ by our weak, yet exhausting endeavors? Livingston’s response is a good indicator of how he viewed the work that he was doing in Africa, work that eventually claimed his life. He rested secure in the knowledge that his sacrifice was for the moment, Christ’s was for eternity. When Livingston finally did leave his African medical mission to return to his native England he was literally exhausted. The exhaustion was not so much physical as it was spiritual. He had served the mission for years and that service literally tapped him out from the aspect of his spiritual stamina. It wasn’t long however before he recouped and returned to his beloved Africa where he finally did succumb to the rigors of life in the wilderness. He often referred to himself as broken bread and poured out wine. This was the life of a missionary and African doctor. What kept him going spiritually was his reliance on Christ to continually renew him spiritually since he went to Africa principally not to serve the medically indigent but to serve his Savior. With that service he knew exhaustion would come always followed by renewal. Such is the spirit of him who draws his strength from above and not below.
We pray. Heavenly Father, it is our pleasure to serve you with our talents, our treasures, our very lives. There are times Lord when we get spiritually exhausted, unable to go on for the lack of spiritually energy. It’s at times like these Lord that we need to examine ourselves to see if we draw our strength from Christ or the people that we serve. Forgive us when we stray from understanding the difference. May we always draw our strength from above and not our service here below. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt 6:34)
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