In 1997 I stood by the hospital bed of one of my heroes, Dr. Maurice Paulson. He was dying with pancreatic cancer and didn’t have long in this world. Mark and I had both studied under him and he was constantly cheering us on in our calling as missionaries.
I remember how we talked that last day and his sweet wife stood by his side. Dr. Paulson told stories of Lebanon and described to me once more how beautiful it was there. Then he got serious. He looked at me and told me to just get to the field. “Just get there”, he said.
I never saw him alive again and he never had the opportunity to teach me again, but Mark and I never forgot his last admonition to us to just get to the field.
I thought about his words this week as I considered the lives of David and Paul. I wondered if I were able to ask them “Was living for God worth it?”, what would they say? Would they go back and change the wasted moments, the prideful moments, the depressed moments? What would they tell me? Would David, knowing now the splendor of Heaven, encourage me to praise God more while I still have breath? Would Paul tell me that he would suffer a thousand more shipwrecks and scourgings because it would be worth it for the Lord?
I think they would. I think they would tell me it is worth it all and more.
Sometimes we read about these men in the Bible and forget they were just men. They got up and were sleepy and had bad breath just like we do. They trimmed their nails, had headaches and got aggravated with life just like we do.
They weren’t supernatural, but they understood they served a Supernatural God. And I believe that made a difference in their walk and how they chose to live.
Psalms 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Philippians 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
These men believed in God. They had a hope in the eternal and it pushed them to keep serving the Lord even in times of opposition. Should I do anything less?
Dr. Paulson knew he was going to be meeting Jesus, yet his words to me were to admonish me to get to Brazil. Why? Because Dr. Paulson had a hope in what could be done by sharing the Gospel.
Life isn’t easy and we all have those moments where we want to hang our hat and call it a day, but let’s dwell in God and ask Him for a renewed vision of what is possible through Him and by His strength.
David, Paul and Dr Paulson were all just men who were surrendered to God’s will. And God used them. God can use you and me as well!
Let’s dwell in the Word and remember that God gave strength to His servants and He did so with a purpose. And that purpose was eternal.
If you are feeling faint hearted and overwhelmed at your life today, let me encourage you to just “get there” whereever your “there” is. It may not be Brazil, but there is a place God has called you and a reason He has called you. Aim yourself in that direction and get there. Ask Him to help you and encourage you along the way like He has done for countless other servants along the way.
It WILL BE WORTH IT one day when we see Christ.
Until Next Time, Lord willing,
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Today’s reading: Exodus 30 / I Kings 4-5 / Psalm 46 / Acts 22