I recently watched a video of a talk we gave on our last furlough. For an entire hour we shared with our home church all the glorious things we witnessed during our first term overseas.
Bible translation projects were completed.
For the first time in history believers had written songs to their Creator in their own language.
Local churches sent out missionaries to surrounding groups.
A church began in a new people group.
I could not hold back the tears as I listened to my two-years-ago-self share story after story of lives changed and bodies healed.
Although we live in that same town and do the same work with the same people, it’s almost as if that first term was a completely different place. The victory feels almost unrecognizable now.
The weight of sadness felt towards our town can be overwhelming. For the first time in five years I have pervasive thoughts of leaving.
“Just because we’re in the battle doesn’t mean we’ve lost the war.” My pastor tells me.
A battle rages for hearts, for minds, for healing, for wholeness, for salvation – not only for the people we came to, but for ourselves as well.
My thoughts are quick to betray me: I can’t do this anymore.
But scripture calls me home:
This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.’
2 Chronicles 20:15
I am tired of fighting.
The Lord will fight for you; you need only
to be still.
I am not enough.
You, dear children, are from God and have
overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in
1 John 4:4
These hurts are too painful.
I consider that our present sufferings are
not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
These problems are too big.
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.
I am afraid.
The Lord himself goes before you and will
be with you; he will never leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not
I am lonely.
Even though I walk through the valley of
the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, You are with me.
I don’t know what to do.
For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
Yes, the grief and the hardship are real, but we are not powerless or alone. In both the victory and the loss, God is with us- Faithful, unchanging, loving, giving, working.
Into the battle we go. To God be the glory. Amen.