I don’t know if you’ve thought about the fact that I’ve struggled to write consistently on the blog lately, but it has been tough for me to do. I’ve entertained the idea of dropping the blog altogether. When I think about not keeping up with writing regularly, I feel a great relief well up in my mind. But when I think about some of the other aspects that I would lose, I feel a greater fear.
Someone recently emailed and said they were feeling concerned about me. They indicated that whenever my blogs become spotty or hurried, they know something is up. That was actually quite an astute observation. I don’t always say how I’m doing on the blog, but if you want to know if I’m struggling or in a low place, you can look at my upload schedule and the content. I can’t really hide it.
That’s one reason I continue to blog. It is a sign to me that I am continuing to press on. It is one discipline I can maintain that helps to underpin numerous other disciplines in my life. I don’t know if it’s the symptom or the cause, but it certainly is true that when I’m not blogging, I’m not doing well about keeping up with other stuff.
Another reason I keep blogging is because I care about the people here, and I want others to know a little about their lives. I keenly recognize the battle here is bigger than myself or my family. We need the prayer support of others. When I don’t share, we fight alone. When I write about the goings on here, we are covered in the prayer of hundreds of believers. We feel it. We need it. God moves when you pray.
Speaking of which, please feel free to share the blog with others who you know could support the work in prayer. If you would each share the blog with another prayer warrior, we would surpass one thousand people who could be aware of and could pray for the work here. That would be tremendous.
Another reason I keep blogging is because we feel a need for physical help. We need other families here to help us with taking the gospel to our neighbors. We are not reaching around to all the needs. It can feel like we’re not doing anything well enough to have a significant influence. If you all are also praying for God to send us a Barnabas or an Aquilla and Priscilla—or even a Paul!—we know God will move in the hearts of those looking for such an opportunity.
So, how am I doing, you ask? A missionary friend of mine talked to me about the danger of burnout. Do Christians burn out if they are merely reflecting the light? I don’t know what all that means, but I do feel that I’ve been limping along for a long while emotionally and spiritually. With the robbery and the loss of livestock and just numerous other little things that have been piling up (all the stuff I haven’t been writing about), it seems I was pushed a bit further toward burnout than I was before.
I didn’t write about it because I am fully aware of all God’s blessings over the last six months. It felt wrong to focus on my internal difficulties. I have much to be grateful for, and I feel and express that gratefulness. We are especially blessed with having my sister here. She has been a balm in our Gilead times. But maybe those tastes of fellowship and intimate support have made me long even more for brothers here. Frankly, it’s hard being the only man.
But I was praying this morning—something I’ve been struggling to do lately because of my lowness of spirit—but I was praying and telling God about some of these things. And God reminded me that He’s promised that we have everything we need in Him, in Jesus. I am fully persuaded of God’s promises, even when I fail to avail myself of them.
So, I want to pursue diligence in my personal fellowship with the Lord Jesus. If you see me openly, consistently, and richly(?) blogging, you will know I’m maintaining that connection with the Vine. If you notice a drop off again, let that be a sign that more prayers are needed. SOS!
In the latest podcast episode on Looking Over Life, we talked about some of our experiences as missionaries. What is a missionary? Why are we missionaries here instead of there? What is our purpose? These and other existential questions were asked. They were big questions, and I’ve been carrying them heavily with me ever since, especially heavily as more and more difficulties have come up.
The song “Am I a Soldier of the Cross” by Isaac Watts rolls through my heart as I consider the future. Do I have the conviction to commit to the discipline needed to meet every tomorrow with power? “Since I must fight if I would reign: increase my courage, Lord…”
Thank you for support. Keep on praying, and I’ll keep on writing.
Am I a soldier of the cross,
a follower of the Lamb,
and shall I fear to own his cause,
or blush to speak his name?
Must I be carried to the skies
on flow’ry beds of ease,
while others fought to win the prize,
and sailed thro’ bloody seas?
Are there no foes for me to face?
Must I not stem the flood?
Is this vile world a friend to grace,
to help me on to God?
Since I must fight if I would reign:
increase my courage, Lord;
I’ll bear the toil, endure the pain,
supported by thy Word.
Thy saints, in all this glorious war,
shall conquer, though they die;
they view the triumph from afar,
and seize it with their eye.
When that illustrious day shall rise,
and all thine armies shine
in robes of vict’ry through the skies,
the glory shall be thine.