Thursday, March 24, 2016
I had a friend who many years ago had a radio program which was heard locally. I would tune into it often and clearly remember that he would always end his broadcast with these words: “Keep those cards and letters coming in, folks.” I found out later that he never got one card or letter from any listener. Back then, I thought that he was fooling himself, that he was obviously mistaken if he thought God had called him for the radio ministry. But was he? Because he got no cards and letters, did that mean no one was listening? I was!
We all live among people who may not be wise enough to know the importance of expressing their gratitude or giving others words of encouragement, but does that mean they are ungrateful? Could they not be like the many folks we know who just assume that people know they are thankful even though they don’t say it? Or maybe my friend just kept on going because he believed God when He said: “So is my Word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11) Could it be that my friend completely understood that it was not his word but God’s that he was preaching, and if it was God’s Word it would not be for nothing? Bottom line: He did not preach in vain.
I wonder if God reminded me of those days of long ago because one of you is beginning to feel that what you do for the Lord and for others is pointless, that you’re just spinning your wheels and are really getting nowhere. I suppose that if I tell you “I’ve been there” some of you may think I’m just blowing steam. Well, if you think that way, you are greatly mistaken because almost every servant of God contemplates giving up at one time or another. I’ve lost count of the times I quit the ministry. Very few people other than God and myself knew about it because I never told anyone, and because God used someone to encourage me. They themselves did not know it but the Lord used them to get me back on track. I have learned the same lesson the Apostle Paul learned. He shared it with the Philippian church with these words: “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” (Ph. 4:11) I have been at points in my life where I felt unimportant, unappreciated, useless, and all alone, and I have had experiences which are totally opposite. In fact, I had one just last night after church. It was a handwritten letter from one young member who expressed her love and appreciation for me. I plan to read it again if and whenever I’m down in the dumps. In the end, the good experiences always outweigh the bad for those who serve the Lord and others in any capacity. Don’t quit!
Memory verse for the week: (Jeremiah 29:13) “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”