On Days Like These

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On days like these, I wonder who thought it was a good idea to approve me for ministry – let alone in a foreign country. When the weight of the heat and the weight of what it takes just to live here presses in harder than usual. When the only reaction that seems possible for my homesick heart is frustration and anger.

On days like these, I call a friend. I share only the good news. The Bible study we had last night went well, I hear myself saying. That’s true; there’s a lot to rejoice about. Two sisters who always fought – slowly coming together, reading Scripture together on my living room sofa. Gentle teasing, loving laughter that has been a long time coming. Two sisters, both now professing faith in Jesus, learning that peace with God can mean peace with each other.

My friend has news of her own. Her meeting, the one she asked me to pray for, went well too. A wife who’s been seeking God for a while has, it seems, found the One and Only. Events in her life have been pointing her to Truth and my friend got to nudge her into seeing.

So why is it on days like these, we’re both trying too hard to make our voices excited? Why is it that my exclamations of joy feel just a bit hollow? Why is it so hard to be honest?

Suddenly the truth comes out, bit-by-bit. I nearly canceled my meeting, I confess, because my attitude had been so dark. She confesses too – she had felt so frustrated and discouraged about the day’s events that she also came close to canceling her meeting.

On days like this, we pause – breathless and terrified at what our sin and bad attitudes nearly cost. Of the chances to share the good news we nearly surrendered for the easy way out. We wonder how God could think it was a good idea to call us into ministry – let alone to a foreign country.

Tentatively we thank God for the lives He’s changing very much in spite of us – for the warring sisters finding their way to peace, for the new life springing up in unlikely places. For the good news of forgiveness and new mercies that, on days like this, we’re thankful we get to tell to others and receive ourselves.

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That we would be faithful in the midst of spiritual warfare.

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