An Encouraging Word

GOD IS WITH YOU IN THE WORK

I found it amusing that my nose was running like a faucet, because it felt like my sinuses were stuffed with cotton.

It was a Monday, and it was one of those days where the space around my eyes felt compressed, my nostrils were raw from constant Kleenex use, and I was worn out from feeling like I’d been battling to breathe since I woke up.

Gotta love seasonal allergies!

Like I always do, I loaded up a regiment of green tea, local honey, Kleenex, warm salt water for gargling and my trusty neti pot to clear out my nose, and I got to work.  I knew that these treatments would help prevent the allergies from settling in to an infection.  I knew that these treatments would help me cleanse my system more quickly and get me back on my feet.  I knew that these treatments were exactly what I needed to do to ensure the best outcome for my situation, but that didn’t stop this one nagging thought from dogging me all day…

“I’m tired of this.”

Can I make another confession, a spiritual one?

Sometimes I get weary of the work.

Not the 9 to 5 day job work, but the work of walking the path of the disciple, the work of building the Kingdom.  Sometimes, even though I know it’s the right thing to do, it’s hard to take the high road and keep walking, keep believing.

You see, before I’m a Pastor, I’m a person.  I’m a person with hopes and fears, wins and losses, strengths and struggles just like everyone else, and in my more reflective moments I have to admit the deep, dark truth.  Sometimes I just get sick of it all.

Have you ever felt that way?

Have you ever felt that even though you know following Jesus is worth it, it’s also a lot of work?

Have you ever felt tired of doing the right thing, of walking the narrow path, of being a “good Christian” day after day after day?

If you have, I have good news.  You’re not alone!

Everybody gets weary from time to time.  Jesus Himself had to take time to withdraw and rest, and even with that, in the Garden of Gethsemane He still found Himself being honest with His Father that He really didn’t want to go through with crucifixion.  (Matthew 26:36-44)

If you’re not always chipper about doing God’s will, you’re in good company.

That’s not the only thing, though.  You see, God’s call to us always comes with a promise for us, and the greatest promise of all is found in this: “I AM WITH YOU.”

If He is with you, you can know your faithfulness matters.

If He is with you, you can know your journey of discipleship has meaning.

If He is with you, you can know He will bring a harvest at the proper time, and until then His presence will be with you all the way.

Yes, following Jesus is hard work and can sometimes leave you weary.  But, it’s a weariness that doesn’t have to remain forever, and that you don’t have to go through alone.

If you need strength and hope today, may you find it by meditating on these words from God.  As you do, remember that He is speaking them not just to “people,” but to you…

“Be strong, all you people of the Land,” declares the Lord.  “Work, for I am with you,” declares the Lord of hosts.  (Haggai 2:4b)

“Be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  (Matthew 28:20b, NLT)

Walk on, my friend, because God is with you in the work.

-Pastor Phillip