…You know those days. They’re the ones when you can’t for the life of you understand the people around you, no matter how desperately you want to know where they are coming from. The days when EVERYTHING goes wrong and you can’t get anything done that you need to, and frustration reigns. It’s when the systems don’t work the way that they should, and you are a victim of injustice and there is nothing that you can do about it. It’s when things that you feel are basic rights are violated, yet it is completely acceptable where you are. It’s when all you want to do is relate, but you are struggling to just communicate basic needs in this foreign and unwieldy tongue and thus feel totally alone. It’s when loved ones at home need you, or when all of your family and friends are celebrating a treasured tradition and you are on the other side of the globe feeling homesick and wishing more than anything that you could be with them. It’s when someone around you is rude, or prejudice against you, or takes advantage of you and you are tempted to blame that one person’s actions on the entire culture that you’re living in. I don’t need to go on with more examples, most likely. You know exactly the days that I am talking about.
What do you do on days like these? What gives your heart peace and the ability to endure? How does God lovingly restrain your fingers from typing in “expedia.com” as fast as you can to buy the next available e-ticket back home?
God is gracious and loving and kind. His Spirit is our comforter. Our Lord is our Prince of Peace. With Him, justice reigns, even if we have to endure what seems to be total injustice for a time. Praise the Lord that not only is He the one that calls us to serve Him where He does, but He is also the one to provide every ounce of strength that we need to stay for as long as He calls us to.
On the days when we feel like we just want to give up, we desperately need to sit down honestly with our God and allow Him to carry those burdens. He understands the injustice. He knows our struggles. He has felt the pain of being separated from His Father and knows our pain as we are separated in a much lesser degree from the ones we love. He has been spit upon and mocked and humiliated without reason. He knew what it was to speak words and have nobody understand despite how much His heart desired them to. Our God is a God who sympathizes with us in every way, and not only that, but a God who desires to love, comfort, encourage, and carry the heavy burdens of the downcast and brokenhearted.
Perhaps you are not experiencing one of these difficult days today, and perhaps you are. I just wanted to take a couple of minutes here to say that when these feelings come your way, you are not alone! All of us experience these times and you are not a “bad missionary” for having days where you just want to give up! You are not alone in an much greater sense than just having friends around the world who can empathize with you. You have your loving and ever-present Lord close by your side looking tenderly at you and desiring to carry you through.
More than my own inadequate words to encourage you on those rough days, I wanted to leave you with some scripture that might be balm to the wounds that you experience while on the field. May these words be a blessing to you perhaps today or when that next difficult day comes around:
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:29-30
“This is my comfort in my affliction,
that your promise gives me life.” Psalm 119:50
“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.6 He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.7 My salvation and my honor depend on God ; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.8 Trust in him at all times, O people;pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” Psalm 62:5-8
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
“Cast your burden on the LORD,
and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
the righteous to be moved.” Psalm 55:22
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16
“He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.” Psalm 23:2-3
“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;
steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.
15Blessed are the people who know the festal shout,
who walk, O LORD, in the light of your face,
16who exult in your name all the day
and in your righteousness are exalted.
17For you are the glory of their strength;
by your favor our horn is exalted.
18For our shield belongs to the LORD,
our king to the Holy One of Israel.” Psalm 89:14-18
Would you perhaps like to share a verse or two that God has used in your life to encourage you on days like these? Are there any other things that help you on days like these? If you are having a rough day today, would you like to tell us about it so we can pray for you? May you experience His nearness today and always!
(Post by: Ashley)